It is perhaps a touch ironic that in the midst of Frank Lampard’s youth revolution at Chelsea, one young player who has been with club for years hasn’t been able to get a game in under the new manager. Andreas Christensen.
The 23 year old Danish defender has barely played all season, making only 12 appearances in all of 2019/20 and only making more than 10 Premier League appearances once in his Chelsea career. Frank Lampard has come out and stated that Christensen is someone who he wants to keep hold of in January, but the young Dane has been unable to break into the starting lineup with any frequency. In turn, he has joined a crop of players targeted by AC Milan as the Serie A giants look to regain their place as one of Italy’s top clubs.
Christensen has been frozen out by the last two Chelsea managers, with Maurizio Sarri preferring David Luiz and Antonio Rudigier, and Frank Lampard choosing between some combination of Rudigier, Kurt Zouma, and Fikayo Tomori for his back line. Despite being loaned out to Borussia Monchengladbach for two years (winning the Player Of The Season award in 2015-16) and winning the Chelsea Young Player of the Year in 2017-18, he hasn’t seem to have gained the trust of any of his managers in his time in English football.
The towering defender has been with Chelsea since 2012, but has only made 44 Premier League appearances in those 8 years. This is only 13 more than the 31 Danish caps he’s achieved since 2015. He’s a very cerebral operator who relies on his positioning to create interceptions and turnovers. He uses his height of 6ft 2in very well, making 86 headed clearances and winning the majority of his aerial duels in the Premier League, along with 53 interceptions. It’s his tackling statistics that might reveal one of the reasons why he hasn’t been able to get a game: just a 44% tackle success rate.
Offensively he doesn’t present much of a threat to opposition defences, whether it be from set pieces or open play. He has a paltry goal return for someone with his height and heading ability, suggesting he either doesn’t get forward for set pieces or is unable to make an impact when finding himself in the box. Furthermore, he’s a good passer, keeping it simple and safe, but doesn’t offer the same incisive long passing in the style of his former teammate David Luiz.
Christensen has played in both a back three and a back four during his time at Chelsea and while Stefano Pioli has also switched Milan between back lines, the current trend is a back four. Christensen is adaptable enough to make either work, although I believe he would do better in a back three, as the wingback would give him additional cover and help provide more attacking thrust on his side of the field.
Overall, I feel like a move to Italy would be a good idea for Andreas Christensen. He plainly has the talent to be moulded into an excellent defender. Bournemouth defender Nathan Aké has been heavily linked to Chelsea and AC Milan have other options, including Christensen’s compatriot Simon Kjaer, so a move this month may be unlikely. Regardless of if he moves in January or the summer, it seems like Andreas Christensen is the latest Chelsea player who needs to move away from southwest London.
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