Former Chelsea skipper John Terry has revealed that he actually desired to be left out of the Chelsea squad during his last season at the club in order to try and ensure that Nathan Ake received first-team opportunities.
Terry’s last season with the Blues was during the 2016/17 campaign where he made just 14 appearances in all competitions. At the time, Terry was well past his peak, with the preferred starters in defence being Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Chelsea went on to win the Premier League during that season, which was Antonio Conte’s first of two seasons as the manager of the club.
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.
“I’m not sure players would have done what I done.”
After his final season at Stamford Bridge, Terry went on to play for Aston Villa who were then in the Championship for one season before hanging up his boots.
Ake was one of the brightest young talents in English football at the time
The Dutchman was loaned out to Bournemouth during the first-half of that season and he showed that he was capable of playing in the English top-flight during that season as he made 16 appearances in all competitions for Eddie Howe’s side, scoring one goal.
His displays for the Cherries that season led to him being recalled to the Blues first-team squad. However, he made just five first-team appearances in all competitions for the Blues before being sold to Bournemouth during that summer.
After joining the Cherries permanently, Ake has gone on to so far make 96 Premier League appearances for the club. He is widely regarded as being one of the best players from outside the traditional giant clubs of English football. Ake has been linked with a return to the Blues and he will surely be open to leaving the Vitality Stadium at this point of his career so that he can experience European football.