Jose Mourinho, once he returns with Chelsea from their pre-season tour, must begin to make the tough decisions on what to do with the cream of his young talented crop.
However, the decision over Nathan Ake’s future will perhaps be the hardest one of all.
Earlier in the week, Derby County, managed by Steve McClaren, were reported to have interest in the young talent as a possible replacement for injured defensive midfielder George Thorne, but nothing more has been made of the matter since.
Nevertheless, the proposed loan move to Derby County for Ake could prove to be a shrewd move by Chelsea as shown by Patrick Bamford’s rise in stock last season.
Bamford, who joined Derby County on-loan in January last season came to the Rams as a raw talent who, for all his abilities, struggled to make the correct decisions for the good of the team. Despite his goals early into his loan spell at the iPRO, supporters became frustrated with the youngsters inability to show awareness to what was around him and go for the smarter options.
However, with a lot of one-to-one training with Steve McClaren, the England under-21 international began to show more willingness for the team and those around him and individual performances, as well as team performances, began to improve. It was an improvement which, as revealed by Bamford, put him on Mourinho’s radar.
Ake, who has been tipped by Mourinho as a future Chelsea player, has now earned the ‘homegrown’ merit by spending an unbroken period of time at Chelsea and can now look to go out on-loan, despite hints that he could be in and around the Chelsea first-team next season.
Nevertheless, as he has already proven himself at under-21 level with Chelsea and is not by any means a shoe-in for regular first team games at the club, it would look to be beneficial for the talented starlet to head out on loan to a club that play a similar system to the Blues in order to put himself in a better position for the call up next season.
A talent, like that of Ake, does need to be treated carefully as any detrimental coaching or influence could impact the youngsters career trajectory and potentially lose Chelsea, what could be in the future, a world class player.
Nevertheless, as shown by Bamford and interviews in the past, Mourinho does trust McClaren’s training approach and with the Rams looking to claim the Championship title, the 19-year-old could look to play a major part.
Is Steve McClaren's Derby County the right move for Ake?