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Chelsea activated Nathan Aké’s recall clause with barely 24 hours to spare

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AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City - Premier League - Vitality Stadium Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

There’s an interesting little tidbit in Matt Law’s latest report about Nathan Ake’s loan recall from AFC Bournemouth.

Apparently, Chelsea activated the clause barely 24 hours before the agreed-upon deadline, which, according to things that are understood, was midnight on Saturday, the 7th of January — i.e. the end of the first seven days of the January transfer window. Chelsea didn’t even bother notifying Bournemouth until late Friday night, which could explain why this story went from zero to one-hundred in just a few hours.

While we could speculate endlessly about why Chelsea opted for this course of action in a seemingly last-minute decision, what’s done is done and Ake’s headed back to Chelsea. The Cherries now must scramble for an answer while Conte needs to figure out how make this not a wasted opportunity for the 21-year-old.

For Ake, this must’ve been a fairly bittersweet development, receiving an opportunity for which he’s worked since age 15 but leaving behind a good situation at Bournemouth.

"I really enjoyed [my time at Bournemouth]. From the first day I joined I was made to feel part of the group. Everyone took me in and welcomed me and as a result both myself and partner settled quickly."

"Over the six months I feel I have developed as a player, both on and off the pitch. To start with I wasn’t playing too much, but I dealt with that mentally, kept going and was happy when I got my chance."

"I was able to learn a lot from [Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe]. He spoke to me a lot about how I could improve and I picked up a lot of little ideas and different ways of thinking."

"Of course the Liverpool game was the standout moment. It was a crazy game and to score the winning goal was an amazing feeling. It’s something that I’ll remember for the longest time."

During his loan spell at Dean Court, Aké scored 3 goals in 10 league appearances playing mostly as a centre back for Eddie Howe. Conte will be looking to use him as a backup all across the defensive line and at wing-back, though Aké’s aims are much higher than that of course.

"The ambition now is to continue to improve and break into the team at Chelsea. It’s a great team and the manager there has given me a lot of confidence, so it’s something I’m looking forward to."

-Nathan Aké; source: AFC Bournemouth

As fantastic as it is to see Chelsea using our vast youth and loanee resources to fill a need in the squad, we will now need to see this bear fruit on the pitch as well. Best of luck to Ake (and the Cherries) and may this all work out excellently for all involved!