(Reuters) - Defender Nathan Ake is determined to make an impact with Premier League leaders Chelsea after manager Antonio Conte cut short his loan spell with Bournemouth.
Ake is convinced that the initial struggle for playing time under manager Eddie Howe had helped him become a better player with the Cherries.
“Over the six months I feel I have developed as a player, both on and off the pitch,” Ake told the Bournemouth website (www.afcb.co.uk).
“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.”
The 21-year-old made 12 appearances for Bournemouth in the first half of the season and also scored three goals, including the winner against Liverpool in the league.
Having returned at Stamford Bridge, Ake will be up against defenders David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta, who have been a part of the back-three system that has conceded only 15 goals so far in the league this season.
”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,” he added.
Chelsea are five points clear in the league ahead of their trip to champions Leicester City on Saturday.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty