Nathan Ake has today completed a permanent transfer to fellow Premier League side Bournemouth.
The Dutch defender returns to the Vitality Stadium, where he spent the first half of last season on loan, and departs Chelsea having helped the club achieve success at both first team and Academy level.
Ake moved to Stamford Bridge from Feyenoord in the summer of 2011 and after helping our Under-18s win the FA Youth Cup at the end of his maiden season at the club, he made his first-team debut the following December, coming on as a substitute in an away win at Norwich City.
Having featured in Europa League matches against Rubin Kazan and Basel, he was named on the bench for the Amsterdam final as the Blues beat Benfica to secure the trophy. Ake ended the 2012/13 campaign by picking up the Chelsea Young Player of the Year award.
Having been part of our Under-21 team which won the league in 2014, Ake made his Champions League debut at the start of the following season and teed up Eden Hazard to score in a 6-0 win against Maribor.
Ake then enjoyed a productive season-long loan at Watford during 2015/16 where he started regularly at left-back and earned the club’s Young Player of the Year prize.
Another Premier League loan followed during the first half of last season, when Ake joined Bournemouth. He performed well in the centre of defence and scored the winning goal against Liverpool, before being recalled by the Blues in January.
Ake started in the earlier rounds of the FA Cup, and with Gary Cahill missing due to illness, was named in the starting line-up for our semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley, where he impressed on the left-hand side of the back three in a 4-2 victory. He also featured in league wins over Everton and Watford as the season drew to a close.
Ake will link up with Asmir Begovic at the Vitality Stadium following the goalkeeper’s move from Chelsea to Bournemouth earlier in the summer.
We wish Nathan the best of luck for the future and thank him for his contribution at Chelsea.