Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has lauded the talent of Andreas Christensen and singled him out as a potential future captain at the club following his untimely mistake against Barcelona in the Champions League.
The 21-year-old defender has been an ever present figure for Conte this season having made 31 appearances so far, but a costly misdirected pass led to a Lionel Messi equaliser in the first leg of the last-16 tie to leave the Blues hopes of progression teetering on a knife edge.
Despite Christensen's error which ensured the Blues take a 1-1 scoreline into the second leg at Camp Nou, Conte was quick to throw his support behind the young Dane.
"Personally I forgot his mistake. When you are a player, during your career you can make a lot of mistakes," he told Sky Sports.
"Christensen is having a fantastic season and he is showing great maturity. His performance was wonderful.
Mistakes happen, even to the very best. If anything, Andreas Christensen's performance tonight proved that he's not going to be a star - he already is one. We have one of the best defenders in the world, and he's only going to get better.— Jamie Wilkinson (@parkedthebus) February 20, 2018
"I trust Christensen. I think this player is the present and also for the future for Chelsea. He can also become the captain of this team."
The show of support from his manager will not go unnoticed by Christensen leading into a tough run of fixtures which see the Blues make trips to both Manchester clubs and host Crystal Palace in the league prior to their clash with Barcelona.
Chelsea's encounter with Manchester United on Sunday opens the door for a league double over Jose Mourinho's side, but Conte refused to play up the occasion further.
Conte added: "I consider a great achievement if you are able to win something after a season.
"If you are happy because you win only one game against a big team it means that your mentality is very little. You don't have a great mentality."