‘Number of mistakes’: BBC pundit suggests 26-year-old player hasn’t reached his full potential at Chelsea
Garth Crooks claims Andreas Christensen hasn’t matched the levels expected of him in a Chelsea shirt.
Crooks criticised Christensen in his BBC Team of the Week, including just one member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad.
The centre-half certainly did not make the cut, but was still a hot topic of conversation for the former Tottenham Hotspur striker.
He might’ve made the XI from the weekend, had an illness not prevented him from playing against West Ham United yesterday.
Chalobah replaces Christensen
Tuchel was forced into a last-minute change thanks to Christensen’s late omission, bringing in Trevoh Chalobah to an already thin defence.
However, the switch turned out to be a beneficial one.
Chalobah helped Chelsea secure their first clean sheet at Stamford Bridge for well over a month as they went on to beat the Hammers 1-0.
This is some improvement from the 4-2 mid-week defeat to Arsenal, a dour day that Christensen will be desperate to forget.
It was his error that led to the opening goal of the evening and started the bad ball rolling for the Blues.
Tuchel then removed the 26-year-old at half-time, insisting the player had picked up an injury rather than taking him off for tactical reasons.
Not much Danish delight
There were no such mishaps against the Hammers yesterday from Chelsea’s re-shuffled rear guard, something Crooks was quick to point out.
“What Chalobah did against West Ham was precisely what Andreas Christensen should have done against Arsenal,” he said.
“The Danish centre-back’s inability to keep his concentration long enough to eliminate the number of mistakes he made against the Gunners was telling.
“Chalobah, on the other hand, was the central defender against the Hammers who took the responsibility often taken by Antonio Rudiger when he plays and looked impressive for much of the match.
“Christensen arguably started the rot against Arsenal in midweek with an appalling backpass which let in Eddie Nketiah for the first of his two goals.
“Christensen has been at Stamford Bridge for quite some time now but I haven’t seen the sort of development in the defender I was expecting.”
Cut from Chelsea’s cloth
During Tuchel’s first campaign in charge of Chelsea, it appeared Christensen had actually reached his full potential.
He began playing a prominent role in the team, owed in part to Thiago Silva’s injury absence.
But the Denmark international took his chance with both hands, rewarding the manager’s faith with several sterling performances.
However, second-season syndrome quickly kicked in.
Following the emergence of Chalobah, Christensen fell down the pecking order, failing to start more than three Premier League games in a row.
Now, only one of the Cobham academy graduates looks set to fight another day.
With an ever-expiring contract and numerous reports of a move to Barcelona on the horizon, Christensen’s days at Chelsea are seemingly numbered.