Forget Hazard and Morata: This man has been Chelsea’s best this season

News broke yesterday that Andreas Christensen had signed a new deal with Chelsea coming as the latest footnote in a quickly progressing career.

Last season, the Dane was nowhere near Chelsea’s first team with him racking up the loan deals as so many of the Blues’ young players do.

Unlike many of them, though, he’s actually forced his way into the first team this season and his new deal suggests he’ll be staying put for some time.

In the process, he’s become arguably Chelsea’s main central defender. David Luiz is out of the side, Gary Cahill is good not world class – something Christensen could become – whilst Antonio Rudiger has done a good job but nothing that our focus for this article hasn’t.

Cesar Azpilicueta has been as superb as usual, of course, but Christensen is the real star of the show at the back this season, and his stats suggest he’s been the leading light across the rest of the side.

For such a young player his reading of the game is exemplary, whilst his seamless stepping into a back-three is something far more experienced players would fail to do.

He is calmness personified, something his Italian manager Antonio Conte knows all too well about thanks to his footballing heritage and though the 21-year-old is not of the calibre of a Paolo Maldini or Alessandro Nesta, he has got a lot of those traits that the Italians have been famed for defensively.

He has a tackle win rate of close to 50% (47%,) whilst he’s won two thirds of his aerial duels (32/48.)

He’s made 58 clearances, chalks up an average of 45.76 passes a game and, most impressively, he’s not even picked up a card so far this season.

Indeed, he’s made five fouls in the league all year. These are stats of a defender at the very top of his game and craft, not of a player who should suffer from a rush of blood thanks to his age.

He’s been a real revelation at the back this season for the men from Stamford Bridge and, though they won’t win the league this year, that’s not the fault of the man from across the North Sea – another plaudit in itself.

How good has he been? Let us know in the comments!

Enjoy this piece? Take a look at Harry Kane v Mo Salah in the race for the Golden Boot…

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