Date: 31st May 2013 at 6:00pm
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Nathan AkeChelsea youngster Nathan Ake says that he draws inspiration from David Luiz and wants to prove to the next manager that his best position is in midfield rather than defence.

The 18-year-old’s progress looks to be going well and he has been rewarded with first team experience this season with six appearances, and was amongst the substitutes for the Europa League final.

Ake is capable of playing central defence, left-back and in defensive midfield and he maintains that the latter is his best position.

“I think my best position is in the midfield role.

“I started the season at centre back, but changed position in some games and I think my awareness got a little bit better, which is the thing I need to improve.

“I’m more a holding midfielder and I look to David Luiz’s example. Sometimes he says before a game that I should watch how he plays so I can learn from him.

“He had to learn to play in midfield, because he started out at centre back as well.

“I’m not worried about the change of manager. I’ve already had a lot of managers since I’ve been here, but I don’t care about that. I keep training hard and if you do that, every manager will give you opportunities.”

(Fulham Chronicle)

Ake has represented and captained both the Netherlands U17 and U19 sides, and was praised for his performances in midfield when playing for the former. He’s had a good season at the club and admits it has been a little better than even he expected.

“This past season’s actually gone better for me than I expected.

“I started the season in the U21s and didn’t expect to go so quickly into the first team.

“I think it started from December that I started to train with the first team and I think I trained all right.

“Then they gave me a chance at Norwich in the last minute and from then on, it’s gone even better.

“I’ve been a lot on the bench and played sometimes. John Obi Mikel went to the African Cup and that’s why I got some space and I thought I did well.”

I think he’s done fairly well when he has been used this season and although he will make a few mistakes, I don’t think he has looked at all out of place when he has come on and probably enjoyed his better moments playing in the Europa League. He looks more like a midfielder to me…he actually looks a lot like Ruud Gullit…but that’s neither here nor there, if he manages to be half as good as his countryman then we have a very talented player on our hands.

But what to do with him? Should he be retained getting the odd chance in the first-team or should he be loaned out?

He’s still very young at 18 so is probably best off staying where he is for next season, which would be his third season with the club and would qualify him as a home-grown player in the Premier League after he turns 21 and as a club trained player in European competition when he reaches the same age.

Source: Fulham Chronicle