NATAHAN AKE says he is thrilled to be involved in the build up to a European final at the age of 18 - and keeping his fingers crossed that he can do a Ryan Bertrand.
A year ago, Bertrand had hardly featured for Chelsea when he was handed a starting role by Roberto Di Matteo in the biggest game in European club football.
That drama-filled Champions League final night in Munich threw up many surprises and undoubtedly Bertrand's appearance was one of them and it gives Ake the realisation that anything could happen next week in Amsterdam in the Europa League final.
“I've been thinking about it,” Ake told the Gazette and Chronicle.
“I don't know if I'm on the bench yet, but I've played in the semi-final and the quarter-finals, so that's good as well. Maybe I have a chance.
“I think nobody expected Ryan would be playing. I haven't really spoken to him [Ryan] about the final but I've seen interviews with him and it's a good experience, obviously, if you come from the youth team to play in a Champions League final.
“It's good that I'm involved a lot this season. If you're 18 and involved in a European final, that's always going to be good, I think.
"You watch always on the telly when you are younger and now you're involved in a final at the age of 18. I didn't expect this at the start of the season.”
The youngster, a Dutch youth international, has an added reason for hoping he gets a chance to feature in what would be only his sixth appearance for the club, as the final is in his homeland.
“Playing in Holland and Amsterdam makes it special,” he said. “It's always great.
"I will have family there. I've had a lot asking for tickets and have just about enough for everyone, I hope.”