Andreas Christensen will hope to start in the heart of our defence again today having impressed in that position whenever he has been called upon so far this season.
The Dane featured from the off in the fine away victories at Tottenham and Stoke, and like for last weekend’s win in the Potteries he could again replace the suspended David Luiz for the visit of Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. He has certainly enjoyed his season so far since returning from a two-year loan at Borussia Monchengladbach.
‘I have been involved pretty much from the start,’ Christensen said. ‘Right now I am happy, getting playing time. I have to keep going and show them that I am entitled to get more time. Life is pretty good and I am enjoying it.
‘Because there were so many of the same players it made it a little bit easier to come back in. The new staff had to get to know me and what I normally do. The players were good to invite me back in and make it easier.’
The 21-year-old benefitted greatly from his time on loan at Germany on and off the pitch, and those at Chelsea kept a keen eye on his progress.
‘They kept looking after me with videos, texting me every day with how I was doing. Eddie [Newton] and Paulo [Ferreira] did a great job with me. The club couldn’t have done any more with me than they did in terms of helping me in the right path.
‘It was two seasons at a high level, facing strikers in the Bundesliga and two years in the Champions League as well, so I got a lot of experience. That was what I wanted.
‘As a player you have to take responsibility for yourself and do what is best for you. You can’t expect people to do it for you. You have to perform when you get the chance.’
Much of Christensen’s game has stood out this season, but perhaps it is his passing that has most impressed. At Stoke, no player made more than his 75 passes, and he had the best pass completion rate of those who started the game, with 94 per cent finding a team-mate.
‘The manager loves everyone to take responsibility on the ball and if that means we have to step up from the back, that’s what we will do. I’m happy because in the youth team we did that as well. That helps the young players when they have to step up.
‘Playing three at the back was new. I was mostly playing four at the back in the youth team here. Sometimes in a back three you have to deal with difficult situations and you have to think yourself. You don’t have the back-up you might have somewhere else.
‘The manager has shown he trusts me and has great passion for me to deliver.’