Since the start of February, Andreas Christensen has featured in 23 of the 32 games we’ve had in all competitions (missing three of those through injury), and while that may not sound absolutely impressive, it’s a massive shift from the way his involvement had been trending prior to that.
His fortunes didn’t necessarily change immediately with the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, but the (still) young center back took full advantage of the opportunity granted by Thiago Silva’s injury concerns in the second half of last season. Since then, whether in the middle of the back-three or on the right-hand side, Christensen has become almost undroppable.
Saturday’s game once again showcased his abilities in both of those positions as Chelsea battled to an impressive 1-1 draw at Anfield, and Tuchel was full of deserved praise afterwards as well.
“Andreas has been very strong since day one. He plays in the central position and finished the game in the right position because we brought Thiago on and decided to stay in a back five. He is very strong. Super talented. He loves Chelsea, he is a Chelsea boy from the academy. He has a huge impact.
“In the moment I think he feels the trust. He knows he can absolutely help. He is a top defender and top guy. I have the feeling he is growing every week in confidence and personality and self-confidence, which is good. He is doing fantastic since day one and getting better and better.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
The line about feeling the trust is especially relevant as Christensen looks to finally put pen to paper on his contract extension, which is now imminent according to multiple reports, including from the Times, the Athletic and Goal. The announcement of the new four-year deal is expected to be made after the transfer window closes. (There’s still less optimism on Rüdiger’s extension meanwhile.)
It feels like Christensen has been around forever since he did join as a teenager in the Academy, but he’s still just 25 and just about starting to get into the prime years of his career. Securing his signature for the next several years would be a key component to our impending defensive rebuild and reshuffle.