Over the next few days we will examine 11 Chelsea prospects in every position on the pitch and analyze their potential for the first team in the future.
GK- Jamal Blackman
RB- Todd Kane
CB- Andreas Christensen
CB- Tomas Kalas
LB- Jay Dasilva
DM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
CM- Lewis Baker
CAM- Izzy Brown
CAM- Lucas Piazon
ST- Dominic Solanke
ST- Patrick Bamford
The Case For Andreas Christensen
Ever since Chelsea signed Christensen from Brondby in 2012, he has been well ahead of the players in his age group. At just 17, Christensen had already made the bench for the first team and was part of Chelsea’s preseason tours. Christensen has been training regularly with the first team all season and is considered a first team player by Mourinho. He even earned two starts at right back this season. Like Tomas Kalas last season, he is on the fringes of being a first team player and would probably have seen a huge increase in minutes had there been a major injury crisis.
Christensen has good size (6’2″) and is not the slowest center-back out there. He has been a very consistent performer for the U21s and shows great maturity at the back. Mourinho has praised his performance against Shrewsbury Town and Terry has stated that he believes Christensen will have a bright future at Chelsea. Already with 15 U21 caps for Denmark and 2 appearances in the first team, it is not hard to believe that Christensen has the potential to be a regular sooner rather than later.
The Case Against Andreas Christensen
Chelsea’s worst loss of the season came at the hands of an inspired Bradford City team in which Chelsea’s entire back line (including Christensen) played poorly. Christensen could have been held responsible for a few of the mistakes made that game and showed even more struggles against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Youth League Final. Bottom line with Christensen, he is going to make a few mistakes during his transition. All defenders make mistakes, but he seems to be on a very short leash with Mourinho.
The other thing that must be considered is how he compares with other potential center-backs. Zouma is well ahead of Christensen at the moment and rumors continue to circulate that Chelsea will pursue 22-year-old Raphael Varane. Also in the mix was the impressive Kalas, who played well in his limited role last season and has impressed on loan at Middlesbrough. It is unknown whether Christensen will continue playing as a right-back or whether he will be given a chance to go on loan, but his first team opportunities seem limited at this point.
Christensen’s contract is set to expire in 2016 and it is unclear whether he will sign a new contract with Chelsea. Andreas’ father, Sten, seems to have a lot of influence in Andreas’ future and has been outspoken plenty of times throughout his son’s time at Chelsea. It seemed at times that Christensen’s progress was elevated because of continuous threats to leave for free and that remains a concern. Andreas himself has said that first team opportunities have been limited, but he knows he is not ready to be a regular yet. Chelsea have been in talks about a new contract offer, but there is no certainty that Christensen will return if he is not given more opportunities in the near future.