Conte Chelsea

Chelsea defender thanks Antonio Conte for ‘belief’ during difficult patch

Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen has thanked Antonio Conte for maintaining his belief in him, following a tough recent patch for the youngster on the pitch.

Gifted prospect

Christensen, a 21-year-old Danish central defender, has been on the books of Chelsea since 2012, when he joined the club’s youth setup from Brondby.

The talented starlet was sent out on loan from 2015 to 2017, enjoying a hugely impressive spell with Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach.

He has long been regarded as one of the finest young stoppers in world football, and made his return to Stamford Bridge to join up with Antonio Conte’s Blues last summer.

Andreas Christensen

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY – MARCH 16: Andreas Christensen of Moenchengladbach controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Schalke 04 at Borussia Park Stadium on March 16, 2017 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Impressing

And Christensen has certainly not taken long to adjust to the rigours of English football, already proving himself as one of Chelsea’s most dependable defenders on his way to 24 Premier League appearances this season.

Antonio Conte recently referred to Christensen as ‘the present and future for Chelsea,’ while the club’s loan technical coach, Eddie Newton, had the following to say regarding the young stopper:

‘Andreas is a player that we can definitely have here for the next 10 years. He is another John Terry for me, and has that same kind of stature because he has got that ability.’

‘This season, he stepped in against Tottenham and Manchester United and it was like he has been there all his life. He is an incredible footballer and one this club should keep hold of very tightly.’

‘Made things more comfortable’

However, Christensen’s outstanding form to this point in the season recently took a dip at the worst possible time, when the Dane was at fault for goals conceded by Chelsea versus Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City.

He was left out of the Blues’ starting lineup versus West Ham at the weekend, but revealed in Chelsea’s matchday programme for the clash that the belief of manager Antonio Conte in his abilities proved key in helping him through his difficulties on the pitch:

‘It’s been a difficult time recently but I’m happy with the overall season. It is easy to just look at the recent games, but I try to remember I played probably 25-30 games with no mistakes at all before that. Everyone knows you can’t go through a whole season not making a mistake, as a defender – it is impossible.’

‘That’s the bad part about our job – when there’s a good chance you’re the one getting pointed at, but you still have to take responsibility next time you get the ball and do what’s best for the team. It helped when you’ve got good team-mates who take care of you and a manager who believes in you. That’s only made things more comfortable for me, and now I want to progress even more.’

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