According to reports, Chelsea are hoping to agree to an extended and improved contract with 25-year-old centre-back Andreas Christensen after the Euros, whose current deal expires in 2022. This news comes after a stellar club campaign, a superb Euro 2020 performance so far, and reported interest from PSG and AC Milan, according to Goal.
Christensen was once spoken about by John Terry in 2014 as “A brilliant footballer … he will certainly get his chance at Chelsea”, and now appears to be fulfilling his enormous potential in a Chelsea shirt, and is fully deserving of a new contract with the club.
After hovering around the first-team as an 18-year-old in the 2014/15 title win, along with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathan Ake, Christensen established himself as a seriously exciting young centre-back at Borussia Mönchengladbach between 2015 and 2017.
Christensen played 64 league games in Germany, and squared off against Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in the Champions League, winning Gladbach Player of the Year in 2016. Chelsea were reportedly considering recalling Christensen after one year in Germany before resigning David Luiz, with Christensen describing the experience as beneficial to his development.
“The football on the pitch was quick, a lot of back and forth. I learned a lot from that. You’d be put in difficult situations as a back four, especially as it was so new to me at the time."
Christensen impressed Antonio Conte on his return to London, and played 40 games in all competitions, winning Chelsea Young Player of the Year.
On Christensen, Conte said: "(I have) a lot of trust in Christensen. This player is a player for the present for Chelsea, and for Chelsea's future for 10 or 14 years. He can also become the captain of this team in the future."
However, an error versus Barcelona in the Champions League appeared to knock his confidence, and the arrival of Maurizio Sarri as manager saw Christensen’s involvement limited to just eight league games in 2018/19 - the Italian preferring a duo of Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz. Christensen admitted he was considering his future at the club at the time, primarily picking up minutes in the Europa League, where he lifted the trophy in Baku.
Christensen picked up more league minutes under Lampard, although he was frequently rotated in and out of the team with Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger. Lampard began the 2020/21 season clearly preferring a pairing of Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma in defence, with Christensen’s red card versus Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in September hurting his cause.
However, after the departure of Frank Lampard as manager in January, Christensen has been one of several players to enjoy a new lease of life under Thomas Tuchel. The defender, still only 25, now has the on-field confidence, and trust from the manager, to accompany his trophy haul of two European trophies and an FA Cup.
The German’s back three is a comfortable fit for the Dane, who broke into the Chelsea first team in the 2017/18 season when Antonio Conte set up with the same approach. Christensen enjoyed a run of games between April and May, conceding just two goals in 11 league games (excluding the West Brom horror show).
With veteran Thiago Silva struggling with injuries, Christensen stepped up when called upon and overtook Kurt Zouma in the pecking order. Performances away at West Ham and at home to Fulham were particularly impressive in pushing Chelsea towards a top-four finish.
Christensen also delivered in the Champions League - playing the full 90 in both semifinal legs versus Real Madrid, and stepping in for 51 minutes in the final versus Man City. Chelsea conceded just two in Christensen’s seven Champions League appearances - the 0-1 away leg versus Atletico a particular highlight, completing 72 of 75 passes.
Christensen is a unique defensive profile - fairly unphysical, he excels at ball retention and ball-playing, able to launch attacks with passes to the two attacking ‘10’s’, which is enabled by Tuchel’s 3-4-3 set-up. With Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger providing support, Christensen can focus on the possession aspect of the game, in a Tuchel side that likes to dominate the ball.
Christensen’s pass completion rate of 92.2% is in the top 7% for defenders in Europe’s ‘top five leagues’, acting as a passing outlet in the back three - his 98.7% ‘pass received’ rate is also in the top 8%.
Christensen has carried this form into Euro 2020 with Denmark, currently in the quarter-finals. Christensen has played every minute available, averaging a SofaScore rating of 7.2, and scored a screamer from outside the box versus Russia, his first goal since late 2017.
With Pep Guardiola allegedly a huge fan of Reece James, it’s also worth remembering the City boss is also an admirer of Christensen - with Chelsea fans furious when Pep appeared to ‘tap up’ the defender in September 2017 after a 1-0 City win. Christensen has also been linked with Barcelona repeatedly, as well as PSG and top teams in Italy.
Still very young for a defender, and a champion of Europe, Christensen has the world at his feet, and has been trusted by the club as an integral part of its future.