Gary Cahill knows a thing or two about exceeding expectations, rising from a questionable January purchase way back in 2012 to an indispensable part of two Premier League and two European trophies, including the Champions League. Now the club captain, Cahill sees a similar path developing right underneath the feet of young Andreas Christensen, who’s quickly risen from loan army hopeful to an indispensable starter in the heart of the defence.
"At this football club, you don't get given gifts, you don't get given time to play if you're not good enough. He's proven that he's more than capable. He's growing stronger and stronger every game he plays. It's natural as well, you get more belief and more confidence from his performances. He's proven to be a very good footballer."
"You don't have to worry every two minutes what he's doing or what he's up to or telling him to go here or go there. And that's a worrying factor. I think it's one of the positives things you don't have to do. You feel you can leave him to play his own game."
Christensen has started 8 of the last 9 games, and while it’s unclear exactly how much a healthy David Luiz would’ve eaten into that playing time — the older defender’s injury has conveniently pushed aside much of the previous exit talks that dominated the narrative — the fact remains that the 21-year-old appears to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
David Luiz isn’t entirely useless just yet however, especially, as Cahill and others had talked about before, as a mentor and to the next generation.
"I feel [David Luiz] can help him along a lot, which he has been doing. He's a very good footballer and he can only improve."
-Gary Cahill; Source: BT Sport via Evening Standard