Antonio Conte says he recalled Nathan Ake from his season-long loan at Bournemouth because he believes the youngster has shown he is good enough to be part of Chelsea’s squad.
Chelsea invoked a clause enabling them to take Ake, 21, back to Stamford Bridge this month.
Blues boss Conte also believes Ake’s versatility could make him a useful option within the 3-4-3 formation the Premier League leaders have used to great effect.
The Dutchman can play in defence or midfield and Conte is also keen to see if Ake could be deployed as a wing-back.
Conte explained: “I called him because I think he is showing he is ready to stay in the squad of Chelsea – and Chelsea is his home.
“He played in this championship with Watford last season and this season with Bournemouth. I think he has shown he deserves to stay in a great team like Chelsea.
“I’m pleased for him to come back and he gives me important options because we are playing with three at the back and he can play on the left or the middle.
“It is also important to see in training if he can play as a wing-back. He gives me good opportunities and solutions.”