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Thomas Tuchel: “Intelligent” Andreas Christensen has found his “place” at Chelsea

The Denmark international has played every minute of his six Premier League starts this season, as well as each of the three reigning European Champions League outings so far.

Despite fierce competition for places in Tuchel’s squad, the 25-year-old looks increasingly confident at Stamford Bridge and recently scored his first goal for the club against Malmö in Europe.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup meeting at home against Southampton, the Chelsea boss spoke about the defender’s qualities and backed Christensen to improve even further.

“He’s a calm guy, a very smart player, and sometimes you can maybe be a little misled by judging him by his personality because he’s a tough defender and he’s a guy who doesn’t ‘don’t hesitate to have hard tackles and win challenges and steps in matches,’ said the German.

“He has found his place. He is very strong, very reliable and he has not reached his limits because at his age there is still room to improve.

“He may be a better defender for us in the next few years and I hope he will be because he comes from the academy.

“He knows what it takes and he’s improved tremendously so far, but he hasn’t done it yet – you have to show it over and over again. There are great examples at this club of what it takes to be a legend in defense and there is still some way to go but we are very happy so far.

While there is no suggestion that Thiago Silva or Cesar Azpilicueta are slowing down, the pair are 36 and 32, respectively, so the player profile would be unlikely to build in the future.

With that in mind, along with Antonio Rudiger’s contract status, Christensen could perhaps become the long-term backbone of Chelsea’s defense if the club were able to extend his contract, which is currently due to expire next summer.

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