Andreas Christensen became the first Chelsea academy graduate since John Terry to start three Premier League matches in a row for the Blues on Saturday. The centre-back has overtaken David Luiz in the Chelsea pecking order in recent weeks and started his third league game in a row against Liverpool. Christensen also completed 90 minutes for the third time, ending an epic wait for a Chelsea youth star to break into the first-team.
Former captain Terry was the last youth star to break into the first-team, start three successive league games and play 90 minutes in each of those matches. Christensen put in a good performance in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield to further solidify his spot in Antonio Conte’ team.
Of course, the Denmark international’s route from the first team has been very different to his defensive predecessor. Terry became a regular at Stamford Bridge in the 2000/2001 season after a brief loan spell at Nottingham Forest. Christensen, on the other hand, has been made to wait for his opportunity after two consecutive seasons on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany.
The 21-year-old has been praised by Conte since coming into the side as the Italian has insisted Christensen has earned his spot ahead of Luiz. Christensen has benefited from a reported dramatic fall-out between Luiz and Conte, but the Dane looks set to continue at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
Chelsea £50m+ offer backs it all up, player worth more than 10x what club paid
Gazzetta dello Sport have decided to send some praise the way of Kalidou Koulibaly. Well, some more praise, because the central defender isn’t short of plaudits in the Italian media.
Signed from Genk in 2014 for €6m, Gazzetta say he’s now worth more than ten times that transfer fee, having progressed hugely at Napoli. It’s stated it wasn’t fully expected, even Genk weren’t aware what a valuable player they had on their hands, but since arriving in Naples, Kalidou Koulibaly has gone through the gears and up the levels.
To back up the claim Koulibaly is now worth more than ten multiples of what Napoli paid, Gazzetta reference a Chelsea offer from last year of €60m. Despite the size of such a bid, around £54m after conversion, Napoli simply had no intention of selling the defender to Chelsea.
Antonio Conte’s side didn’t give up and there have been countless claims in Italy about Chelsea interest not going away, although they haven’t yet improved on that offer.
Koulibaly was tempted by Chelsea but believes he can win the league with Napoli, and is happy with his life in Italy.
Next summer, there could be doubts once again as there has been previously, but at that time Koulibaly will be 27 years of age, and Chelsea could be even more reluctant to up that €60m offer.