Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake has revealed he was left mentally “broken” after being overlooked by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
Dutch defender Ake made only seven Premier League appearances in five years at Stamford Bridge before joining Bournemouth for £20million in 2017.
The 24-year-old, who arrived at Chelsea from Feyenoord aged 16 in 2011, made six first-team appearances in the 2012-13 campaign, but played just once the following season after Mourinho replaced interim boss Rafael Benitez.
Ake told the Telegraph: “I went to the first team at Chelsea and played under Rafa Benitez and I always thought, ‘why is everyone saying setbacks are coming because everything is going up, up, up?’
“The season after Benitez left I thought, ‘this is going to be my season’.
“Then Jose Mourinho came and, without training, I got dropped into the second team.
“That was one of the toughest things for me, mentally. I was quite broken.
“Everything was going great, I played a few games, I was young player of the year and then I was in the reserves again.”
Mourinho returned for his second spell at Chelsea in June 2013, succeeding Benitez, who had departed in the May after six months in the role as Roberto Di Matteo’s replacement.
Ake, a regular start under Eddie Howe at Bournemouth this season, had loan spells at Reading and Watford during his time at Chelsea.