Nathan Ake has ruled out a return to Chelsea after struggling for game time with Bournemouth this season. The versatile defender is on a season-long loan with the Cherries and is keen to make an impact before returning to the Blues next summer.

The on-loan blues defender had just played 13 minutes of Premier League football prior to his first start against Stoke City on Saturday (19 November). Ake seized the opportunity handed to him by Eddie Howe and put in a man-of-the-match performance that included scoring the winner against Mark Hughes' side.

The defender, who had expressed some frustration at the lack of game time, was delighted after his first start and made it clear that there was no truth in reports linking him with a return to Stamford Bridge indicating that his main focus is on having a successful season with Bournemouth.

"Scoring was a great feeling. I can't describe it actually. It's been tough. Every player wants to play every game. But when you get the opportunity you need to step up. I'm really happy. It's been a long couple of months. I haven't played but now I got the opportunity. I scored a goal, we won at Stoke and kept a clean sheet so it's been good!" Ake said, as quoted by the Bournemouth Echo.

"I don't know where that (Chelsea story) comes from. It came from nothing. I ignore it and focus on what I have to do in training – and focus on Bournemouth.

"This is the feeling you want after games you've played. You win and go home on the coach feeling happy. That's what I've missed and now it's back so I'm delighted," he added.

The Cherries boss has also refuted reports linking Ake with a return to Chelsea. The versatile defender, who can play at left-back, centre-back – where he played against Stoke – and in midfield, is highly rated by Howe.

Nathan Ake
Nathan Ake peels away after scoring the winner on his first start for Bournemouth against Stoke City on Saturday (19 November) Getty

"We've had meetings with Chelsea regarding his progression but there's been no mention of January or anything like that. Obviously it's up to me to make the best decisions for Bournemouth," Howe was quoted as saying on Sky Sports.

"But we love Nathe. We think he's a really talented player with a bright future ahead of him."