John Terry has opened up on a conversation with former Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte about Nathan Ake.
The former Chelsea captain played alongside Ake at Stamford Bridge for five years before the Dutch defender was sold to Bournemouth for £20million in the summer of 2017.
Ake was part of the Chelsea squad that won the Premier League title in Conte’s first season in charge, but only made two appearances during the entire 2016/17 league campaign.
Conte started the season with Gary Cahill and Terry as his first choice defenders, but a change of formation saw David Luiz drafted into a back three alongside Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta.
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The tactical switch proved successful as Chelsea won their second title in three seasons under the guidance of the Italian.
And Terry has revealed that he was disappointed to be left out of the side by Conte, but totally understood the reasons as the Blues were continuing to pick up results in his absence.
Speaking on an Instagram Live Q&A with snooker legend Stephen Hendry, Terry said: “Even throughout that season, he was putting me on the bench.
“I went to see him around Christmas time, and was like ‘gaffer, listen you’re putting me on the bench and we’ve got Nathan Ake’, who for me was an unbelievably talented young player.
“I said ‘put him on the bench because the chances of him coming on are really slim, it’s going to be great experience for him.’
“He was on the bench for about seven, eight or 10 games, and he ended up playing against Spurs in the [FA Cup] semi-final that year. And it was just little stuff like that.
Chelsea during the break
“I’m not sure players would have done what I done.”
Ake has since established himself as one of the best defenders outside the top six, with his impressive form on the south coast increasing…