Nathan Ake is not surprised to see Andreas Christensen cement his spot in the Chelsea first team this season, admitting it was obvious to see the Dane’s talent from their academy days together.
Christensen has become Antonio Conte’s first-choice defender at the heart of his three-man defence following on from the 21-year-old’s assured and solid performances since David Luiz was dropped from the Chelsea squad in November.
Such has been Christensen’s rapid development since returning from his two-year loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer that Chelsea are believed to be keen on opening contract talks with the 21-year-old in the new year.
Indeed, Conte recently hailed Christensen’s “serious” and “committed” approach to training and suggested the defender has the talent as well as the personality to emulate John Terry’s successful career at Chelsea.
And Ake, who still keeps in touch with Christensen despite leaving the Blues for Bournemouth in the summer, admits it is no surprise to see the defender do so well this season – saying everyone in the Chelsea academy knew how talented the Dane was years ago.
Speaking exclusively to Standard Sport, Ake said of Christensen: “He’s a quiet person. We were good friends – we still are good friends.
“He’s a really, really good player. He’s comfortable on the ball, good defensively and you can see that week in and week out. He’s playing and really enjoying it. It’s really good to see that.”
When then asked if he is surprised to see Christensen become a Chelsea first-team regular, Ake replied: “No.
“Everyone knew, also at the Academy, how good he was. And when he went on loan he done really well, and has been doing well in the national team so I wasn’t surprised.
“He’s a really good player.”