Interesting little fact from the man with all the facts, @ChelseaChadder, who says that not only was Saturday’s match the 50th career Chelsea start for Andreas Christensen, but he’s just the second Chelsea academy product in the last 20 years to do so.
The other is of course John Terry, who like Christensen, joined the academy in his teens, played there for three years, made his Chelsea debut, went out on loan (for six months, rather than 24), and then became a legend (he reached 50 starts for the club during the 2001-02 season).
Others have come close since. Ryan Bertrand made 57 appearances, but only 42 starts. Ruben Loftus-Cheek recently passed 50 as well, but so far, the majority of his 52 appearances (30) have been from the bench. Carlton Cole only managed 31 appearances altogether. Not sure if Robert Huth would count (he joined at 17), but half of his 62 appearances were also just off the bench (sometimes as emergency striker, even!). The likes of Patrick van Aanholt, Nathan Aké, Jack Cork, or Scott Sinclair don’t even come close to 50.
Anyone else? The list of candidates is indeed quite short. (But maybe this situation is slowly improving?)
And of course it’s not all rosy in Christensen’s camp either, though the exit rumors that had been so prevalent in the first-half of the season have largely gone away. The 22-year-old has been restricted almost exclusively to non-Premier League games this season, but he did get the nod against Huddersfield Town as Antonio Rüdiger was nursing a knee injury.
It was just his second appearance in the league (of 14 total) but Christensen did well enough against bad opposition, showing good recovery speed as usual when needed and a composed overall game, and he seemed happy enough afterwards.
“I didn’t even know that [it was my 50th start], but bouncing back [perfectly] like this is important, especially when you see the next games we have. So we are very happy.”
“We have some very big games [coming up], something to look forward to in different competitions. That’s good because we want to win something this season. Every game is important.”
“I’m proud of my 50th start for this club [and] I’m quite happy.”
-Andreas Christensen; source: Chelsea TV
Solid attitude from the kid and may that long continue! He is surely the future of the Chelsea defense, with or without Sarri, with our without David Luiz signing a new contract for next season.