Aston Villa number two coach, John Terry, has revealed how he gave up his place at Chelsea so Nathan Ake for him to get a first-team shot.
Terry was itching to see the Dutch youngster, 21 at the start of the 2016-17 campaign, given a chance at Stamford Bridge, even if it meant sacrificing his own minutes.
He told snooker great Stephen Hendry in a social media conversation: “I went to see [Antonio Conte] around Christmas time.
“I 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 a great experience for him’.
“‘He was on the bench for about seven, eight, or ten games, and he ended up playing against Spurs in the [FA Cup] semi-final that year.
“And it was just a little stuff like that. I’m not sure players would have done what I did.”
Ake has now since moved onto Manchester City via Bournemouth.