Chelsea are famed for their trigger-happy use of the loan system and currently have nearly 50 players out on loan. It’s certainly an extraordinary approach.
Such a tactic has seen its successes over the years with Thibaut Courtois being the prime example but Josh McEachran, Thorgen Hazard and Marko Marin would all tell very different stories.
However, one player who is certainly impressing out on loan proves Dutch full-back Nathan Ake. On current form for Watford, the Blues might want to consider holding onto the 21-year-old upon his return from Vicarage Road.
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While recent form has proven a harsh reality check for Watford, the Hornets have ultimately had a successful season in the Premier League. Survival looks assured and the club can start looking forward to 2016-17.
Ake has undoubtedly played a crucial role in the club’s admirable adaptation to England’s top division. Making 23 appearances in all competitions, the Dutchman has quietly gone about his business and has one goal to his name.
Full-backs often don’t receive has much plaudits as they deserve. Some consider Ake as the club’s unsung hero- getting the dirty work done while Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo soak up the publicity.
Overall though, the 21-year-old is showing maturity beyond his age and standing firm in a notoriously physical league.
The full-back is currently contracted at Stamford Bridge until 2020 and has been at the club since 2011. His spell at Watford has proven his second loan outing after a brief stint at Reading last year.
While there is speculation that the Hornets will try and secure his services permanently, Ake seems keen on a Chelsea return. The Dutchman told the official KNVB website, via the Daily Mail: 'Of course, I would like to return to Chelsea,'
'But it is important for a player of my age to get regular playing time. Things have been going pretty well this season. I am getting plenty of game time and I really feel like I am improving as a player.
'Let's see how the season ends with Watford and then we can start thinking about the future.'
Furthermore, it seems an appealing move for Chelsea who have been struggling with the full-back position this season. Cesar Azpilicueta has been flung from flank to flank and despite improvements, Baba Rahman remains mistake-prone.
Ake would provide the necessary depth to help Chelsea iron out these mistakes going into 2016-17. Moreover, with the club’s refreshing recent tendency to deploy young players, there couldn’t be a better time for a return.
While Chelsea may pounce in the transfer window for a full-back, they’re unlikely to find someone of Ake’s age with as much Premier League experience. Besides, the proposition of the Dutchman proves far less risky than gambling millions on a player who may not have played in English football at all.
Consequently, the Blues should look to reward their high-flying loan star by incorporating him into their first team next season. Chelsea are in no position to take risks in their current situation and Ake proves a logical addition.
With an emaciated full-back arsenal and limited pulling power via their Champions League absence, Chelsea should turn to Ake.
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