Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen Shining At The Back For Conte

Andreas Christensen was your typical Chelsea youngster. There seemed no room for the talented centre-back at Stamford Bridge, so he was loaned out for two years to Borussia Monchengladbach.

The young Danish international played regularly with the Bundesliga side and earned himself plenty of plaudits.

In Germany he appeared sixty-two times in the league, in the previous two years he had managed just eight league outings with the Blues.

His time with Die Fohlen allowed him the chance to cut his teeth at a top flight club in Europe. Those minutes on the park with a first team were needed to help with his progression and footballing eduction, he wouldn’t have had that playing for the Chelsea reserves or sporadic first team appearances.

Christensen himself has stated just how important his loan spell was for his career development:

“For me personally, it was the two biggest years of my career. If it went badly I might not be here now, but because it did I am here, feeling confident and in a good spot,” 

 “The experience of playing in the Champions League and at the top level for two years every week helped me a lot.”

In the summer, Chelsea lost legendary captain John Terry and French central defender Kurt Zouma was sent out on loan to Stoke City in the aid of getting him regular football as he returns to full fitness.

The back three that helped manager Antonio Conte to secure the Premier League trophy in his first season at the Bridge have all remained at the club.

Defender Antonio Rudgier was brought in from Roma with a £29m fee.

World class defenders Leonardo Bonucci, Michael Keane and Virgil van Dijk were also all linked heavily with the English league champions.

But it’s the returning Christensen that seems to have won his manager’s trust.

The twenty-one year old has made five starts in the Premier League so far this term and he’s also made three further substitute appearances.

A reported falling out between Chelsea gaffer Conte and Brazilian centre-back David Luiz took place after the Blues were thumped 3-0 by Roma in the Champions League.

Luiz has since been dropped and it’s Andreas that has stepped into his place. Chelsea have won those two games, including a win over Jose Mourinho’s Man United, and have kept two clean-sheets in those fixtures.

Christensen looks assured at the back. He is very good with the ball and has a 92% passing success rate. He is also averaging at least 1.1 tackles per game and is making around 1.5 interceptions.

He’s also clean in the tackle and likes a block, the central defender has yet to pick up a card during this campaign.

Antonio Conte has chopped and changed his defensive line a few times during this campaign, the uncertainty has been a bit chaotic. Yet with keeping Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Christensen at the back in the last two games Chelsea have found a good consistent foundation to build from.

Having Andreas and Gary sitting back allows Spanish international Azpilicueta the chance to venture further forward and make decent passes to the forwards. It has worked wonders with their two clean-sheets. Against United, they hardly gave Romelu Lukaku a sniff at goal.

Current loanees Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham have been impressive in the Premier League this year. Their form has won them senior international recognition with England. That has led to many speculating why have the Blues loaned them out?

But these youngsters should look at what’s happening with Andreas Christensen and see that there is a pathway into the first team. If they keep impressing in the top flight and with England, then surely their time will come at the Bridge too.

Christensen has been patient and deserves his chance, I’m glad he’s take this opportunity with such aplomb and hopefully he’ll keep his place as long as he keeps giving his all at the heart of the Chelsea defence.

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