Borussia Mönchengladbach have confirmed that Andreas Christensen will return to Chelsea this summer, as the youngster looks to stake his claim with the Blues.
The Danish centre-half will have spent two years on loan with the Bundesliga outfit, and in that he has received the regular football that he craved and has developed his game significantly.
Despite a desire to sign him on a permanent basis, Gladbach have now seemingly given up hope as sporting director Max Eberl has confirmed that he expects Christensen to return to London at the end of the season.
“Christensen must go back to Chelsea. Those are the two players [with Mahmoud Dahoud] that we have to replace in the summer,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun.
Antonio Conte has settled on a three-man defence for the most part this season, and with his side heading back to the Champions League next season, he’ll want reinforcements to bolster his options in that department.
Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta have been first choice, Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake are options as cover, but with John Terry likely to follow Branislav Ivanovic out of the Stamford Bridge exit door, or at least hanging up his boots, then the Italian tactician will need to replace them.
Given the way Christensen has impressed in Germany, the 20-year-old could now force his way into the senior squad at Chelsea and save the club from having spend big money on another defender.
Much will depend if he can prove himself to Conte in pre-season and beyond, but it certainly looks promising as Chelsea will be given the license to focus elsewhere and continue to get stronger as a unit.