Chelsea’s 2-0 FA cup win at Middlesbrough on Wednesday evening will likely be remembered for Rafa Benitez’s rant post-match but it was significant for a Blues youngster.
Nathan Ake, a Dutch 20-year-old defender, was thrust into midfield by Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez and did not put a foot wrong in a fine first start for the first team.
Ake, signed from Feyenoord in 2010 and a Ruud Gullit look-a-like, was calm throughout the FA Cup tie and supported Ramires well in central midfield.
Having come on for a few minutes at Norwich as a substitute, this looks like being Nathan Ake’s break out season after impressing for some of Chelsea’s youth sides.
If Rafa Benitez does leave Stamford Bridge in the coming days, giving Nathan Ake a chance at first team level, may be one of his lasting legacies at Chelsea.
Individual highlights of Nathan Ake’s performance v Middlesbrough are on the video below, followed by a post match interview.