A contribution post by Dan Parr https://twitter.com/dan_parr1
At the moment, there is a level of uncertainty surrounding the centre-back positions in the Chelsea team; for me, this has to be the time that Andreas Christensen fills his clearly world-class potentialand becomes a regular under Frank Lampard.
There doesn’t seem to be enough hype around Christensen’s name at the moment. Centre backs of his quality don’t come around very often, especially at his age; Chelsea would be mad not to see this, and should make sure that he becomes an integral part of our club for years to come.
Having had a breakthrough season in the 2017/2018 campaign, where he made 28 appearances for Antonio Conte’s side, Christensen’s progression faltered in the face of Maurizio Sarri. The 59-year- old Italian seemed to prefer the more aggressive pairing of Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz, leaving Christensen with a very tricky task of getting back in the starting XI.
Even with this in mind, Christensen made 21 appearances, including a fantastic performance in the Europa League final; this gave fans a snapshot of what could be to come with the Danish centre- back.
The 23-year-old’s attitude has been constantly praised. His Denmark U-21 Coach, Jess Thorup, said Christensen was “always thinking about how to get into the first team”; John Terry has publicly praised him as well – always a good sign. This determination saw Christensen shine in his 2 seasons on loan in Germany, where he won Player of the Season at Borussia Mönchengladbach in his first season: this performance in a different country, especially at the age of 21, was another sign of his mature nature.
Reported interest from Barcelona in January should make the Dane’s qualities clear to anyone, and should have woken up the club in to making the most of the gem that we have. If we don’t start to use Christensen regularly, we risk losing him, and this is something that we can’t afford to do.
Graceful centre-backs are a rare breed nowadays, making Christensen an excitingly unique type of player that Frank Lampard could mould into one of the best in the world.
Of-course there is competition: Kurt Zouma’s return has got most fans excited, and David Luiz’s quality is something that can’t be ignored. But there is an air of composure, on and off the ball, that makes Christensen stand out from the rest – we cannot ignore this, and I’m sure Lampard and Jody Morris won’t either.
Admittedly, he is not as physical as Zouma or Rudiger, but this just emphasises his defensive ability – his timing in a tackle and general defensive positioning makes up for his lack of aggression; Christensen is by far our best defender, with Luiz and Zouma’s positioning often being loose, and Rudiger having to rely heavily on his aggression.
Christensen’s calmness, along with his defensive timing and underrated pace and passing ability, creates the perfect ingredients for a world-class centre-back, and surely makes him a no-brainer for the starting XI – now it is Lampard’s job to make this a reality.