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”.
“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,” Howe added.
“With Simon Francis’ suspension and Marc Pugh’s injury and now Nathan going back, our defensive resources are certainly stretched.”
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.