andreas Christensen

Andreas Christensen better off at Chelsea

Chelsea's appalling handling of young players has never been more exposed and visible than the ongoing summer transfer window. Yet, their oversight could be pardoned should they opt to keep hold of promising Danish defender, Andreas Christensen.

No fewer than 11 youngsters have already been shipped out of Stamford Bridge this summer with more expected to follow suit in the coming days. Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah, who joined Bournemouth and Watford respectively, are perhaps the biggest casualties of the club's stricken youth system in recent times, considering both have come closest to the first team.

Indeed the pair has every right to feel hard done by the club. While Ake joined in 2011, Chalobah has been around since age 10. Both had a combined nine loan spells away from Stamford Bridge with the hope of earning a long-term future in south-west London, which ultimately failed to materialise. Another promising youngster whose future has been hurled into chaos, with every possibility of leaving the reigning Premier League champions is towering Dane, Andreas Christensen.

Unlike the pair, the 21-year-old took a risky, yet brave path to the top. He spent the last two seasons on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach and impressed that the German outfit was so keen to secure his services permanently. Before that, he managed only a paltry three games for the Blues after joining in 2012. Yet, it was enough for club stalwart, John Terry, to anoint him as his successor.

“I’ve told him that he should chase me and knock me out the team. He should be hungry to take my place. Believe me, I am sure that he will be a top footballer and one of the future men for Chelsea,” - Terry said about Christensen.

Now with the 36-year-old ex-skipper out of the way, it seems like just the perfect time for Christensen to make that bold step upwards. Even with the addition of Antonio Rudiger from Roma, Antonio Conte's team is currently short of options to play in his three-man defence. Consequently, the Italian should look no further than the six-time capped Denmark international, who appears to be a ready-made addition to the first team squad, thus saving the club over £60m this summer.

Christensen is a confident defender, who reads the game with maturity. In keeping with the modern-day trends, the 21-year-old is fearless on the ball and possesses an impressive passing range for a defensive player. Without the ball, his notable reading of the game to deny opponents is also a key quality to his style and approach to defending. No wonder he blocked more shots (26) than any other player in Germany’s top tier last term and averaged more interceptions (2.3) than tackles per league game (1.5) for Gladbach. These all but affirms his ability to pre-emptively snuff out danger rather than rely on last ditch tackles.

There may be ample pressure to transition seamlessly from the Bundesliga to the Premier League, but having performed well in the 31 of 34 games he started for a Gladbach side that finished in mid-table - they failed to win the three league games the defender missed - there is no reason why Christensen can’t transfer his good form from Germany to England.

Chelsea may still elect to cash in on the young defender this summer, but they could live to regret not closing the transfer war chest and giving him the opportunity to consolidate a regular first team spot in south-west London.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

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