Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen shows off his incredible skills
The Dane pinpointed a successful two-year loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach as the key factor behind his emergence under Antonio Conte.
Christensen, 21, returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer after his stint in the Bundesliga and has earned plaudits for his performances.
Chelsea’s loan policy has come under scrutiny in recent years with few players managing to cement a spot in the club’s first team despite impressing while out on loan.
However, Christensen has bucked that particular trend this season, making 12 appearances in all competitions, and he believes that spending an additional year in Monchengladbach was particularly important to his development.
“For me personally, it was the two biggest years of my career. If it went badly I might not be here now, but because it did I am here, feeling confident and in a good spot,” Christensen told Sky Sports.
“The experience of playing in the Champions League and at the top level for two years every week helped me a lot.
“Both for the club and for me personally, the plan was always to come back into the first team.
“Doing two years was important. It wasn’t just one year where you can go and might not get into the team straight away and you end up playing just some of the games.
“In the first season I learned about the club a bit more and then in the second I started the whole season and became an important player.
“I was lucky that it went so well and I got two full seasons out of it.”
Given the success that Christensen has enjoyed since returning to the club, he has been earmarked as a role model for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham to follow next season.
Both Loftus-Cheek and Abraham have caught the eye in the Premier League this season for Crystal Palace and Swansea respectively, and have become senior England internationals over the past week.
Conte even stated that they are the “future of Chelsea” in his pre-match press conference ahead of the club’s game against West Brom on Saturday.
“It’s different for every player,” Christensen continued. “I was in the right place at the right time, everything just clicked and it was perfect for me.
“That’s the most important thing for the players that go out on loan. They have to find what’s working for them and the perfect environment for them to develop.”