Chelsea have recalled defender Nathan Ake early from his season-long loan at Bournemouth with immediate effect.
Dutchman Ake, 21, joined the Cherries on loan last June, and has scored three times in 12 games for them this season.
On Saturday, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said losing Ake would be “a huge blow”.
Howe added: “He’s done so well. It is easier said than done to say we are going to go and recruit a player of a similar stature to Nathan.”
“With Simon Francis’ suspension and Marc Pugh’s injury and now Nathan going back, our defensive resources are certainly stretched.”
Nathan Ake did not feature in Bournemouth’s FA Cup third round defeat at Millwall on Saturday so will therefore not be cup tied and available for Chelsea’s fixtures in the competition.
Antonio Conte’s side top the Premier League and currently have the second-best defence in the top-tier, conceding 15 goals this season, one more than Tottenham.
The Blues currently have 37 players out on loan.
Aké agreed to join the Chelsea youth system from Feyenoord in late 2010 at the age of just 15.
He had played at Feyenoord since the age of 12 after joining the club from ADO Den Haag.
He made his Premier League début on 26 December 2012 against Norwich City as a 17-year-old, replacing Juan Mata in added time at the end of a 1–0 win at Carrow Road.
He made his first start for the club in the FA Cup on 27 February 2013, in a 2–0 win against Championship side Middlesbrough.
He was chosen to start in a defensive midfield position for Chelsea in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash with Rubin Kazan in Russia on 11 April, a match that finished in a 3–2 loss but resulted in a 5–4 aggregate victory.
Aké was an unused substitute for Chelsea in the Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam on 16 May, which Chelsea won 2–1.
He was voted Chelsea’s Young Player of the Year on 16 May, and made his first Premier League start three days later in the 2–1 win against Everton at Stamford Bridge on the last day of the campaign.