Andreas Christensen is with Denmark’s national team where he often plays in midfield. Chelsea needs him to get those reps in this break.
Andreas Christensen is one of the more recognizable names in Denmark’s national team despite being in and out of the side. When he is in the team, it is not unusual for him to play in the midfield instead of his more traditional centerback spot. And while clubs generally are not offended if their player does not play for the national team, Christensen could do with some reps in the midfield.
Chelsea is somewhat pinched at the moment in midfield. N’Golo Kante cannot stay on the right side of fitness from his injury late last season. Mateo Kovacic had barely touched down for international break before coming home injured. That leaves Jorginho as the only senior mid that could play a midfield role besides a 10/eight that wants to be a 10.
Chelsea does, however, have plenty of solid defenders who can swap into the midfield, especially since Frank Lampard seems to prefer consistency with his back line. He mentioned Christensen and Reece James as midfield possibilities and for now, Christensen is the player closer to being ready to take up that type of role.
Christensen did play in midfield often while in Chelsea’s academy. He did it occasionally while at Gladbach and his central spot in a back three for Antonio Conte is not too dissimilar in practice. But realistically, he has only played in midfield a few times and mostly with Denmark.
Given that Denmark have two somewhat easy matches this break, it would not be surprising to see Christensen play one if not both games. Ideally it would be in midfield because that seems to be the biggest area of concern for Chelsea now.
If Christensen does end up playing in the middle for Chelsea, it would surely be as a six in the deepest spot. Contrary to increasingly popular belief, that player can be someone more defensively inclined rather than someone to bounce passes off of. Of course, Christensen would do just fine as someone to pass off of as he is calm on the ball and he is particularly position oriented.
Christensen higher up also opens up room for Antonio Rudiger’s return and for Fikayo Tomori to play more. Of the four centerbacks Chelsea has, Christensen is perhaps the least directly defensive of the four and it may not be the worst idea to take that skill set elsewhere.
Furthermore, Christensen could also drop into the back line if the Blues are under particularly heavy pressure, giving the shape a 5-4-1 look on defense. Given that Chelsea struggles greatly with crosses over the top, that may be just what the Blues need to cope.
But it is hard to drop Christensen in the middle cold. That is why it would be great for him to get two games in the center of the park for Denmark so he is that much further along when he returns to Chelsea. The Blues could use the reinforcements and Christensen can provide them.