Former Chelsea player names the club’s most dependable defender – and it’s not Cesar Azpilicueta

Former Chelsea player Pat Nevin has hailed the impact Andreas Christensen has had on the team so far this season.

After returning from his loan spell with German club Borussia Monchengladbach, the Dane has impressed in the heart of defence when given his chance by Antonio Conte this campaign.

In David Luiz’s absence last weekend against Manchester United, Christensen was hailed for the job he did on ex-Blues striker Romelu Lukaku in the 1-0 win.

While Chelsea have plenty of options to cover at centre-back, the BBC pundit feels that the 21-year-old has become the club’s most dependable defender.

Nevin, speaking to Newstalk, said: “His time at Gladbach really helped him.

“He had some Champions League games there. He looked quite good in Germany. I’ve watched him against Man United and the bits of pieces he’s played this season.

“Chelsea have Rudiger, Cahill, Luiz and Azpiliecueta at the back. He has been there most dependable defender. He starts now. He 100 per cent starts now.”

With the Dane starting ahead of Luiz last time out, Nevin feels it could be a while before the Brazilian defender forces his way back into the team.

“He has been playing a bit slow recently,” added Nevin.

“He thinks he’s Pirlo. He is pinging balls 60 or 70 yards. Chelsea need to zip it around and move it quickly. Kante comes back. Luiz is out.

“It was zipped around. It was moved quick. I hope Luiz was sat in the stands and realised that. It could help Luiz. He will come back in but it might not be right away.”

Chelsea receive worrying Eden Hazard injury update ahead of West Brom clash

Chelsea are hoping Eden Hazard will be fully fit for the trip to West Bromwich Albion after the winger sustained a knock during Belgium’s 3-3 with Mexico on Friday.

The winger started and scored in the draw, but was on the receiving end of some rough challenges in the Brussels friendly.

According to journalist Kristof Terreur, the 26-year-old did not train with the rest of the Belgian squad on Sunday morning, and is a doubt for the upcoming clash with Japan.

Antonio Conte will hope his star player fully recovers in time for the trip to the Hawthorns, as the champions try to keep pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

After the weekend, Chelsea then face Qarabag in the Champions League followed by a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool.

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