Borussia Mönchengladbach have so far managed followed up last year’s fourth place finish in the Bundesliga with just four wins from their first sixteen matches this season. Unsurprisingly, they’re languishing in sixteenth place, just three points clear of the drop zone. They’ve won just one of their last eleven league matches.
That’s a tough environment for any player to truly strive in, even if your name is Andreas Christensen and you’re one of the most highly rated young defenders in the game.
"Andreas did not play well for us in the first season. He played fantastic. He was the player of the year in Borussia Mönchengladbach and the best centre back in the Bundesliga together with Jerome Boating and Mats Hummels. Andreas is playing a good season for us, and it’s completely natural that he has not hit the level of last season, which, by the way, was completely exceptional for a teenager in his first season as a senior player."
"It’s completely expected that he makes a few mistakes, but because he played so well last season, the media and surroundings starts to wonder. He is only 20, and he needs a good stable team around him. And he didn’t have that in the same way as last season."
In an interview given to Danish outlet Tipsbladet, Gladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl also addressed the challenge for Christensen to play through rumors that have followed him around — rumors that were more often than not created by Eberl himself, but let’s ignore that for a minute.
"This season there are more rumours about his future, and he has to give interviews, and the fact is, he is still a quiet young man who would much rather play football than constantly have to worry about the future."
"It’s fantastic for his future as a footballer to feel the pressure you feel when you play for a team close to relegation. There’s a world of difference playing in the top 5 and fighting for 15th or 16th place."
So, about those rumors. Eberl has made no secret of his wish to keep Christensen beyond this season, even if that means yet another loan, but the word from Chelsea has been pretty clear and consistent for some time. Christensen will be coming “home” this summer and staking his claim as part of the new Chelsea core.
"The agreement is that Andreas will return to Chelsea this summer. It has been an outstanding deal for all parties involved. Chelsea gets a player back who has played around 80 games at the highest level and we got an excellent player for two years that we would have otherwise had no chance of getting to our club. If an opportunity arises to have Andreas back in the club next season we are definitely interested."
"He is a classy guy, and I am very satisfied with our scouting work, spotting him in youth matches at Brøndby, Chelsea and Danish Youth national teams, and that we were able to see that he would be able to play at the highest level in the Bundesliga. His position in Gladbach will not be affected by his return to Chelsea this summer. He is a very important player for us.”
-Max Eberl; source: Ekstra Bladet
Christensen’s season has been affected by injury and the team’s poor form, in general, but his qualities on and off the ball remain enticing and his future at the top level of the game seems all but assured. Hopefully, that will indeed come to fruition at Chelsea.