Chelsea boss Antonio Conte singled out Nathan Ake for praise after the Blues sealed a crucial 3-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Goals from Pedro, Gary Cahill and Willian gave the Blues a temporary seven-point lead at the top of the table, though Spurs’ 2-0 win against Arsenal reduced the gap back down to four.
Ake, 22, came on for an injured David Luiz in the 81st minute to make just his fourth appearance for the Blues since his loan spell at Bournemouth was cut short in January.
Despite his lack of chances, Conte’s been impressed with Ake and said the Dutchman performed like a ‘veteran’ on Merseyside.
‘I am very pleased with Ake’s impact. He came on and he looked like a veteran,’ said Conte.
‘He is only a young player. He is showing great commitment, work-rate and concentration when I ask him to play.
‘It’s not easy to be used to playing every game for Bournemouth and then arrive at Chelsea and be on the bench or sometimes in the stands. But he understands I trust him. I put him in the semi-final against Tottenham, and I put him today in a moment very important for us.
‘I’m also pleased for this because to play a young player is a great thing for us.’