A tall, ball-playing centre-back, Andreas Christensen spent eight years at Brondby before joining Chelsea ahead of many other suitors before the 2012/13 campaign. He wasted little time in displaying his composure and assuredness at the heart of defence for our youth team, impressing enough to earn himself an Under-21 debut before Christmas; however it was in the FA Youth Cup where he most grabbed attention.
He scored the first goal in the fourth round at the Valley to inspire a fightback against Charlton after the Under-18s had fallen 2-0 behind, and played in all but two of the ties en route to the final. His total of 11 Under-21 appearances for the season underlined a level of maturity in his play beyond his years, and he made his European debut in the NextGen Series for Under-19s in a defensive midfield role against Ajax in December 2012.
Christensen’s impressive first campaign earned him a spot on the bench for the final game of the season against Everton and, while he didn’t enter the fray to make a senior appearance, he was involved in a post-season tour to the USA.
After signing a professional contract in the summer, he spent 2013/14 working predominantly with Dermot Drummy’s Under-21 group, featuring on 25 occasions as they topped the table and then won the league play-offs. He scored his first Under-21 goal in a 2-1 win over Manchester City in October and started every FA Youth Cup tie from the fifth round onwards as Adi Viveash’s youngsters won a memorable final against Fulham.
Having played throughout the senior squad's pre-season, he was named as a member of Jose Mourinho's squad for the 2014/15 campaign and made his Chelsea debut in our fourth round Capital One Cup victory at Shrewsbury (below), playing the full 90 minutes at right-back and performed a similar role in the FA Cup fourth round against Bradford. Christensen was also part of the Under-19 side which won the UEFA Youth League in April 2015 and he had his first taste of Premier League football as a late sub against Sunderland at the end of the season.
It was announced on 10 July 2015 that he would spend a year on loan in Germany, gaining experience with Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach.
In December 2015 Christensen won the 2015 Danish Talent of the Year award, which is given to the most promising Danish talent in their domestic league or abroad, who is under the age of 22 at the time of voting. The youngster was rewarded having established himself as a regular in the Monchengladbach side and earned senior international recognition for Denmark. In February 2016 he scored his first two Bundesliga goals in a big win over a Werder Bremen side featuring another Chelsea loanee, Papy Djilobodji.
He finished a highly successful season in German having made 39 appearances and scored three goals, helping his loan club qualify for the following season’s Champions League with a fourth-place finish in the Bundesliga, having competed in the European competition in 2015/16 with Manchester City, Juventus and Sevilla the opponents in a tough group stage.
In June 2016, Christensen comfortably won a vote of Gladbach supporters to decide their team's Player of the Season and he spent 2016/17 on loan there too. It was a campaign in which the German side failed to match the heights of 2015/16, but the young Dane remained a major player for them and continued to impress both defensively and with his quality on the ball. Christensen gained further Champions League experience in group games against Man City and Barcelona and ended the season having made 43 appearances and scored four goals, two of which came in the Bundesliga and two in the Europa League.
Christensen was part of the squad which travelled to China and Singapore in the summer of 2017 and he came on as a second-half substitute in our first game against Arsenal before starting the second versus Bayern Munich.
Suspension and injury to David Luiz meant that before long he had established himself in the heart of our defence, impressing with his composure and positioning as we racked up plenty of clean sheets in November, December and January.
He continued to be a mainstay of the defence until the final weeks of the season, gaining valuable experience against some of the top teams in England and Europe. His efforts were recognised at the end-of-season awards when he was named Chelsea's Young Player of the Year after a wonderful breakthrough campaign for the Dane.
Christensen represented Denmark at Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level prior to becoming a full international, making his Under-21 debut at just 17 years old. In October 2014, he helped his nation qualify for the Under-21 European Championships in 2015 after a two-legged play-off success against Iceland. Ahead of participation in that tournament, he was elevated into the senior squad and made his debut for the full Denmark side on 8 June 2015, coming on in the second half of a home friendly win over Montenegro. That was quickly followed by four matches at the European Under-21 Championship finals where Denmark made the semi-finals.
Christensen earned further full Denmark caps in 2016, including his first start, although his nation lost a Euro 2016 qualification play-off with Sweden with the young player an unused sub. His form for Monchengladbach during the 2016/17 season meant he gained further senior recogniton for Denmark, and he played in his country's successful 2018 World Cup play-off tie against the Republic of Ireland, helping force the crucial first goal in a handsome win in Dublin.
Christensen started every game at the 2018 World Cup for Denmark as they reached the last-16, where they were beaten on penalties by Croatia. On a personal note, the youngster enjoyed a fine tournament and started every game, with his versatility meaning he also played a deep midfield role at times as well as performing in central defence.