Andreas Christensen has returned to Chelsea this summer after two seasons in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach.
During his time in the German league, he has come up against some of the worlds best, and not every defender, at the age of 21, does that. His time at the club allowed him to play regular football, both domestically and in european competitions.
When speaking to Standard Sport, he said:
“I have come back to Chelsea a better player than the one that left two years ago. I played about 80 games in two seasons and I have a lot more experience. I have a bit more toughness, more mental than physical.”
“The physical side of things is something I still have to build on, but mentally it has given me a lot. I’m more confident, I feel ready for bigger things. I was up against a lot of top strikers, big teams. I remember when I played against Bayern for the first time, I was nervous beforehand because it is easy to look like a clown playing against these guys.”
“Borussia played one against one at the back and I was directly up against Lewandowski first and then Muller later on, but we won the game 3-1. Everything went well and this is the kind of thing that gives me more self-belief at the top-level.”
There have been accomplished displays in Europe too, including keeping new Chelsea team-mate Alvaro Morata goalless on a trip to Juventus in 2015.”
“Borussia were in the Champions League as well so I got to have a bit of a taste of everything. I was up against Alvaro for one game and know what it’s like to play at Manchester City too. So I have had a bit of a taste of these big things and I want more of it in the future.”
Christensen has gained vast experience through his loan spells after coming through the Chelsea youth ranks and he has said what it's like to be on loan, and the impact and support from Chelsea whilst away.
“There is Eddie Newton and Paulo Ferreira doing a great job and they visited me quite a few times.
“They would also send me videos of my games, telling me where to improve. I always watched those videos, would take the advice on board and take it into the next game, even though sometimes I’d forget another thing! I got all the help I needed.”
After making his first start in pre-season ahead of David Luiz, Christensen said,
“Luiz loves to play football and so do I. Even in the first drinks break against Bayern last night, he came over and told me a few things. He’s a great guy to learn from. He’s a good guy and wants the best for me as well.
“I haven’t spoken too much with Conte about my role, it’s just about getting all the tactical work in.
“Right now I’m concentrating on just trying to learn what he wants from me in the position. It’s just great to be back.
“Some things have changed but most of the people are the same. It feels familiar and when I walked back into Cobham I felt at home straight away.”
Christensen has a bright future at Chelsea, and at the age of 21, he has time to make a real impact at the club.