February 10, 2018

Christensen absence a big factor in Chelsea's defensive frailties


Andreas Christensen's absence is a big factor in Chelsea's recent defensive struggles, according to head coach Antonio Conte.

Antonio Conte says it is no coincidence that Chelsea's recent defensive troubles have come when Andreas Christensen has been out injured.

After spending two seasons out on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, Christensen has forced his way into the first team under Conte in the 2017-18 campaign in place of David Luiz.

Christensen's most recent start came in the 3-0 reverse to Bournemouth, but the Dane was replaced after 28 minutes due to a hamstring injury.

The score at that point was 0-0 but Chelsea went on the suffer a heavy loss, and followed that up with a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Watford on Monday.

His absence has not gone unnoticed at Stamford Bridge, with Conte admitting that Christensen has become a vital member of his backline, which follows previous praise from the head coach in which he suggested that the 23-year-old would be John Terry's heir.

Speaking ahead of his team's Premier League fixture on Monday, the Italian said: "For sure, he's an important player for us. He's an important player".

"It happened, this [that Chelsea conceded seven goals in the last two games without him]. It's right to look at the stats, but we have to take the stats in the right way. But, for sure, Christensen is an important player for us. He's playing a fantastic season."

Christensen could return for Chelsea as they take on bottom-team West Brom on Monday, in what would be the perfect fixture to bounce back from their consecutive defeats.

Andreas Christensen's absence is a big factor in Chelsea's recent defensive struggles, according to head coach Antonio Conte.

Antonio Conte says it is no coincidence that Chelsea's recent defensive troubles have come when Andreas Christensen has been out injured.

After spending two seasons out on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, Christensen has forced his way into the first team under Conte in the 2017-18 campaign in place of David Luiz.

Christensen's most recent start came in the 3-0 reverse to Bournemouth, but the Dane was replaced after 28 minutes due to a hamstring injury.

The score at that point was 0-0 but Chelsea went on the suffer a heavy loss, and followed that up with a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Watford on Monday.

His absence has not gone unnoticed at Stamford Bridge, with Conte admitting that Christensen has become a vital member of his backline, which follows previous praise from the head coach in which he suggested that the 23-year-old would be John Terry's heir.

Speaking ahead of his team's Premier League fixture on Monday, the Italian said: "For sure, he's an important player for us. He's an important player".

"It happened, this [that Chelsea conceded seven goals in the last two games without him]. It's right to look at the stats, but we have to take the stats in the right way. But, for sure, Christensen is an important player for us. He's playing a fantastic season."

Christensen could return for Chelsea as they take on bottom-team West Brom on Monday, in what would be the perfect fixture to bounce back from their consecutive defeats.