Andreas Christensen was a lot scrawnier back then, but his talent was already evident to not only Chelsea Football Club, who’d do everything in our power (and maybe a bit more) to make him come to us, but also to manager Thomas Frank, who gave the then 15-year-old defender his debuts at the U16 and U17 international levels with Denmark.
Ten years on, their paths are about to cross once again this weekend, as Chelsea make the short journey out to Brentford, to take on the newly promoted (and rather high-flying) Bees for the first time since 2017, and for the first time in the league in well over half a century.
Christensen is sure to start — especially with Thiago Silva coming back late from Brazil — and while Frank is now in the opposite dugout, he’s quite chuffed to see Christensen’s progress since those days together in the youth team.
“AC is one of the best defenders in the world at the moment. He has always been enormously intelligent on the pitch, i.e. enormously quick to perceive in relation to all situations offensively and defensively.
“He is enormously technically strong for a defender in terms of taking the ball forward, passes and good choices. He is also foresighted and fast at the same time, so it is almost the complete package.
“There’s more coming from Andreas, I must say. The way the football game goes, he is a perfect match. So it’s going to go faster and faster, so you need to be able to perceive and play faster and faster.”
We couldn’t agree more. Christensen has taken that step we had been waiting for him to take ever since getting his first real chance at the first-team under Antonio Conte. Now, let’s get that contract signed, shall we?