Before the game against Tottenham, Antonio Conte confirmed that he was going to play Nathan Ake against Tottenham in the FA Cup semifinal clash.
The 22-year-old was recalled from his loan spell with Bournemouth back in January, after a wonderful spell with the Cherries where he was an important player in their defence.
On his return to Chelsea, he has only started two FA Cup games and is yet to play in the Premier League, much to his disappointment. A lot of people questioned Conte’s decision to bring him back from loan and leave him on the bench, but all Ake needed was a chance on the big stage.
With Gary Cahill ill and unable to play, Ake was given his third Chelsea start since his return to Chelsea against the league’s most difficult opponent.
Indeed the game against Spurs wasn’t an easy one and it was an occasion for men and not boys, and Ake looked every bit like a man among many.
Ake started the first 15 minutes of the game in bright fashion, and won just about every tackle with so much ease and calmness. Even when the going went tough, he still maintained his cool and a last ditch clearance in the box 18 just showed how much the Dutchman has matured.
Ake gave Conte something to think about with his performance today, and he surely doesn’t deserve to rot on the bench.