So splendid is the season Andreas Christensen is having on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach that parent club Chelsea are drawing up plans to cut his scheduled two-year stay in Germany in half.
A centre-back state of emergency has been declared at Stamford Bridge following the long-term injury sustained by Kurt Zouma earlier this year and the pending departure of captain John Terry.
With no break clauses inserted to the aforementioned agreement, a super sugar-coated contingency would be required to tempt Monchengladbach into allowing Christensen to return, but even the Blues’ bargaining best might not be enough.
The 19-year-old apparently values first-team football above all else and his stats from the current campaign indicate he’d be foolish to sacrifice it.
A quartet of consecutive defeats between late August and mid-September are the only Foals fixtures Christensen has missed so far, with impressive stats recorded along the way.
Signing a centre-back with ability in possession is seemingly the Holy Grail for scouting staff across Europe and a passing accuracy of 87% says the Dane has stacks of the stuff. This enviable technical nous is complemented by an average of seven blocks, clearances and tackles per match, showing he’s no shirker when it comes to defensive fundamentals either.
But whether his talents have matured enough to marshal an elite Premier League rearguard is debateable. Indeed, even Chelsea didn’t expect him to be ready for at least two years when they initially sanctioned his loan deal.
As if this wasn’t a big enough reason to be wary, their stinging in the Thibaut Courtois situation is the ultimate in cautionary case studies.
Courtois had established himself as one of the world’s best goalkeepers during a two-year stint at Atletico Madrid, having been leased by the Blues.
In order to get him back to the Bridge, assurances had to made about playing time, which resulted in the marginalisation of long-serving number one Petr Cech.
Among a select group of keepers considered superior to the Belgian, Cech was eventually sold to Arsenal, only for his successor’s standards to drop before he voiced his discontent at the prospect of no Champions League football in the space of a few months.
The debacle has degenerated into a scenario where the Blues could go from having two world-class keepers in 2014/15 to none ahead of 2016/17.
With Terry on his way out, Chelsea are already losing one top-level stopper this summer, meanwhile, they contemplate guaranteeing a potential heir to his throne a regular starting spot at the veteran’s behest in what is an eerily similar turn of events.