NEW DEAL FOR AKE
Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce that Nathan Ake has signed a new five-year contract.
The versatile Dutchman, who can play as a central-defender, left-back or as a deep-lying midfielder, has been rewarded for a breakthrough 2012/13 campaign in which he made six appearances for the first team.
The 18-year-old, who moved to the club from Feyernoord in the summer of 2011, said: 'I'm very happy that Chelsea is rewarding me with a new contract for my effort and development the last years.
'I would like to thank everybody at the club for everything they did for me. Thanks to them I have come so far. I won't let them down and will keep on working as hard as I can.'
Ake, whose new contract keeps him at the club until 2018, had been a regular for Dermot Drummy's Under-21s during the first half of last season, before being handed his first team debut as a late substitute in our Boxing Day win at Norwich City.
He made his first start in a 2-0 FA Cup win over Middlesbrough in February, and was then given his European debut, playing the full 90 minutes away against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
His first Premier League start came on the final day of last season when he partnered Frank Lampard in midfield as we beat Everton 2-1, and he was an unused substitute in the Europa League final.
Ake was part of our Under-18s' side which lifted the 2011/12 FA Youth Cup, and also played in the first leg of last season's final.
On the international stage, he has represented the Netherlands at both Under-17 and Under-19 levels.
Ake could feature in tonight's Under-21 league game against Tottenham at Aldershot. Admission is free for all spectators, with a 7.05pm kick-off.