Nathan Ake was developing brilliantly at Bournemouth and bringing him back to Chelsea has proven to be a mistake, according to his first professional coach, Ron Kenter.
The 22-year-old defender has only made three starts for Chelsea since his return in January, but he had made 12 appearances while on loan at Eddie Howe's side as he increasingly established himself as a key player for the Cherries.
Kenter coached Ake as a youth player at Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag and believes that he has a unique talent. However, he is concerned that a lack of opportunities under Antonio Conte may slow his development on his road to play for his country.
“For him, it’s okay. When a club wants you back, they take you back, they have faith in you.” Kenter told Goal. “Although I think his time at Bournemouth was better for him because, at his age, you have to play regularly in the first team. He was playing well and scoring goals and working under a very good manager [Eddie Howe].
“At Chelsea he is in the first team squad, but not a regular player. I understand why Chelsea do that, but talented players need time. Not only in the cup but in the league as well. Someday he has to make the national team, he must play.”
Ake has yet to be capped for his national team, but he is thought to be on the verge of his first Netherlands’ call up, despite being left out for the upcoming matches against Bulgaria and Italy.
Kenter’s Den Haag lost Ake to Feyenoord before Chelsea signed him in 2010. ADO tried to hold onto him by promising first team opportunities, and Kenter thinks that is the best way for Dutch clubs to operate rather than looking to loan signings, as their rivals Vitesse do from Chelsea and FC Twente have done this season from Manchester City.
“Getting players on loan is not a solution for the problems you have in your team," he added. “You have to look to the academy instead, you have to start at the beginning again when you lose them.
“If you get three, or five players on loan, like Vitesse does or like Twente does from Manchester City or Chelsea. Next year they go back and player for their parent club or on loan at another English club and the Dutch clubs start again at zero. So it’s not a solution, it is only temporary.”