With any luck, Andreas Christensen will accomplish something this season that hasn’t been accomplished too often, if at all, in the last 20 years. With three more appearances, he will have reached 100 total for Chelsea Football Club, becoming the first Chelsea Academy graduate to do so since John Terry (2002) and Jody Morris (2000) — like JT, Christensen joined in his mid-teens (14 and 15, respectively), so we’re counting it.
(Ruben Loftus-Cheek, currently on 77, would’ve been close by now, too, were it not for the Achilles injury that ruled him out for the last year.)
Given this season’s Youth Revolution™, led in part by Morris himself as assistant coach, that may not seem like such a big deal (anymore), but Christensen was practically the only player before this generation to successfully cross the proverbial divide between the youth setup and the first-team — by way of a two-year loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach of course.
Christensen’s path wasn’t easy or straightforward, and unfortunately, he’s yet to truly emerge into the clear. He featured regularly for Conte in 2017-18 before falling out of the team. Sarri then barely looked his way outside of the Europa League. Lampard has given him a couple runs in the team, but Chelsea’s defensive woes this season have been almost as historic as Christensen’s 100-appearance record. The Blues are on track to concede 50+ goals in the Premier League for just the second time since 1997.
With the team looking to take advantage of a depressed transfer market, reinforcements could be on the way, which would necessitate a defender or two leaving. As far as Christensen’s concerned, that won’t include him.
“At least that’s what I think [that Lampard is betting on me for the future]. I can only try to show that I deserve that trust, and I try to show that in every single match.”
“When you [are on the bench], of course, you are not happy, but when the others play well, I can do nothing but train. I’ve been getting a lot of games again [and] then you feel that you are believed in and that they trust you.”
-Andreas Christensen; source: BT via Google Translate
Christensen has played every single minute of every Premier League match since the restart (in fact, he’s started 12 of our last 13 in the league) — getting a rest in the FA Cup — but just like his career so far, the returns have been inconsistent. He was magnificent against Manchester City, less so against Crystal Palace. And while he’s still young, he’s no longer young enough to be able to use his age as a good excuse.
There are two years left on his contract, which means a decision about his future will have to be made soon.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, the 24-year-old made it clear that he wants to stay.
“I’ve never looked anywhere else. I’ve never doubted my situation. I’ve always had my eyes at Chelsea. I’ve had my contract and I’ve always expected to finish that and I’ve always dreamed of even more than that. Nothing has changed. Obviously it was a different situation last season but I still love being here, that’s the short answer.”
-Andreas Christensen; source: Sky
Your move, Chelsea.