Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl has confirmed Andreas Christensen will return to Chelsea from his loan spell, but he remains optimistic his team will eventually be able to sign the Denmark international outright.
Plenty of rumours regarding a permanent switch have surfaced in the two years Christensen has spent in the Bundesliga, as the 21-year-old has continued his development and grown into a top defender.
Speaking to Kicker (h/t Daily Star‘s Alex Harris), Eberl has now confirmed Christensen is determined to try his luck at Stamford Bridge―but he hasn’t lost hope yet:
“We will lose him, because he has to return. …
“But, if he does pre-season at Chelsea and then does not play the role that he hopes to, we have the chance to talk again as a club where he has gained two years’ good experience. …
“But there are still these opportunities, because Andreas is incredibly comfortable in Gladbach and he, I think, would like to stay in Gladbach.
“He would also like to be a regular in Chelsea’s starting XI, but they have just become champions who will play in the Champions League and will also want to achieve something next season.”
Christensen previously stated he was undecided and hinted he could stay with Monchengladbach, rather than return to London, per Bild (h/t the Sun‘s Anthony Chapman).
The Dane has been with Chelsea since 2012 and regularly trained with the senior squad during the 2014-15 campaign, but opportunities were scarce. The Blues have never been shy about loaning out their youngsters, and his move to the Bundesliga didn’t come as a surprise.
As you can see in the video below, he’s come a long way since then:
Part of Chelsea’s transfer philosophy is to invest in young talent, send them out on loan to develop and cash in to turn a nice profit. Patrick Bamford and Mohamed Salah are two recent examples of players who were moved on, as the Blues had little use for their services.
With John Terry leaving the club at the end of the season, the Premier League champions have a need for defenders, however. Per Harris, Kurt Zouma’s future is also still uncertain, with plenty of transfer rumours emerging since January.
Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images
Manager Antonio Conte is expected to be rewarded with a hefty transfer kitty after a successful first season in England―he’ll likely spend the cash on an experienced, star defender he can plug into his team right away.
But with Christensen impressing in Germany, the Dane will undoubtedly get his chance to shine for the Blues―at the very least, Conte will take his time figuring out what he has in his young defender.