(Reuters) - Nathan Ake has no regrets over swapping Chelsea for Bournemouth and says he is happier helping his new club fight against relegation than he would have been playing a bit-part role for the Premier League champions.
The 22-year-old defender made just 17 appearances in six years at Chelsea and spent a significant amount of time on loan at other clubs, including Bournemouth, whom he joined on permanent basis at the start of the current season.
“I have no regrets, no way. I am still 100 percent happy with my decision,” Ake told the Evening Standard.
”I thought I’d get more chances to play (at Chelsea). I had a few games, but I wanted to have that feeling of playing every week. It’s what I need at my age.
“At the end of the season I just felt that the time had come. Chelsea were disappointed and wanted to keep me, but they understood as well. They didn’t want to stop me from fulfilling my dreams.”
Bournemouth, who have one of the smallest grounds in the Premier League, have punched above their weight in the past two seasons but are struggling in the current campaign.
The tiny south coast club, who are second-bottom of the league with two wins, one draw and six defeats, take on defending champions Chelsea on Saturday.
Ake believes there is still plenty of time for Bournemouth to turn their fortunes around and that the team is starting to show signs of improvement after collecting their first points on the road at Stoke City last weekend.
”It is still early in the season,“ he said. ”We didn’t start the season well, but the quality of our football is coming back, we are scoring good goals. The defending is getting better too.
“It’s just about picking up more points and we will do that with the quality we have in the squad.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes