After a solid spell at Watford last season, helping the Hornets stay in the Premier League as well as reach the FA Cup semifinals, we were hoping that Chelsea and would provide defender Nathan Aké a chance to prove his worth to new coach Antonio Conte. But the young Dutchman will have to wait a little longer for this opportunity, as Chelsea announced today that Aké will be joining Premier League club AFC Bournemouth on a loan deal until the end of the 2016/17 season.
Aké spent his time at Vicarage Road playing mostly as the first-choice left back for manager Quique Flores. Amassing 28 appearances (24 starts), across all competitions, he flourished in his defensive role. Bournemouth do seem set at left back, so perhaps Aké will be expected to utilize his versatility and play more as a central defender.
The 21-year-old still has four years left on the five-year deal signed last year, so there's still theoretically plenty of time to eventually establish himself at Chelsea. But it is mildly infuriating that we have once again failed to even give a chance to a youth prospect coming from a successful loan deal, one who could be a nice addition as the team tries to recover from the horrors of last season.
Nevertheless, best of luck to Aké. Hopefully this latest sign of a lack of faith in our own youth players won't come back to haunt us (again).