sport news Euro 2020 - Denmark's Andreas Christensen has blossomed into the defender ...

sport news Euro 2020 - Denmark's Andreas Christensen has blossomed into the defender ...
sport news Euro 2020 - Denmark's Andreas Christensen has blossomed into the defender ...

If you told Andreas Christensen at the start of this year that he would go on to lead Chelsea to a Champions League title and be a Euro 2020 semi-finalist, not even he would have believed you. 

When the New Year bells rang, Christensen had played just five Premier League matches for Frank Lampard's Blues in 2020-21. Any indication that the 25-year-old was going to have a year to remember was a long way away.

But the arrival of Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge has been the biggest turning point in his career to date. The German coach has put the Danish defender at the heart of his three-man defence and he has kicked on to become a key player for club and country.

Andreas Christensen is Denmark's secret weapon ahead of their Euro 2020 tie with England

Andreas Christensen is Denmark's secret weapon ahead of their Euro 2020 tie with England

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The centre-back (right) is key man for his country, who have reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals

The centre-back (right) is key man for his country, who have reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals

When he lines up against England in Wednesday's Euro 2020 semi-final, Christensen will be in the form of his life - and the Three Lions need to recognise him as a player to contain at Wembley. 

When Tuchel arrived at Chelsea in late January, he changed the Blues' formation form a flat back four to his favourite 3-4-2-1 formation. 

Injury problems to veteran defender Thiago Silva, the clear leader at the back for the west Londoners, should have plunged Chelsea into crisis - but the performances of stand-in Christensen meant the Brazilian's absence was barely noticed. 

Placed as the middle man of the Blues back three, Christensen started 10 out of Chelsea's last 15 Premier League matches, with the top-four chasing side failing to lose any of those games. 

Christensen was barely used by Chelsea but helped them win the Champions League this year

Christensen was barely used by Chelsea but helped them win the Champions League this year

When Silva returned from injury for a home tie with West Brom, he dislodged the Danish defender from the starting line-up but the Brazilian was sent off in the first-half as Chelsea lost 5-2 - and Christensen had the spot he deserved back. 

Only a minor ligament injury ruled him out of Chelsea's run-in and a starting spot in the Champions League final, but when Silva picked up a first-half injury in the European showpiece match in Porto - Tuchel knew who to call upon.

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The substitute defender played nearly an hour of that final as Chelsea kept an impressive clean sheet to win 1-0. Tuchel was grateful to have his trusted man back fit again.  

Speaking about Christensen, Tuchel said in May: 'He is crucial in the back three, he gives us a lot of options because he can play all three positions and he's very calm, but don't misjudge him for being calm, he is a very tough one to play against.

The 25-year-old (left) was made a key player when Thomas Tuchel arrived at Chelsea this year

The 25-year-old (left) was made a key player when Thomas Tuchel arrived at Chelsea this year

CHELSEA DEFENDER STATS 2020/21 

Blocks per 90

Andreas Christensen: 0.8 (Rank: 1st*)

Thiago Silva:

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