After a successful transition to a three-man central defence in the 2-0 win over Hull City last weekend, Chelsea are expected to adopt this new system on a permanent basis moving forward.
Coach Antono Conte used the formation to devastating affect at former club Juventus, with the addition of David Luiz also suggesting that this tactic is well and truly in the former Italy trainer’s thoughts.
Could Andreas Christensen be set for a shock move to Barcelona?
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) October 9, 2016
Despite the retired midfielder having options at the core of his Stamford Bridge rearguard, rumblings in the press continue to suggest that Chelsea will look to buy another centre-half in January or next summer.
Although paying over the odds or shelling out tens of million is not uncommon or uncomfortable for the Blues, it seems like in this case the Premier League club can solve their personnel dilemma at no cost.
The West London club have a comprehensive loan system, with more than 35 players on the Stamford Bridge payroll but playing at other clubs this season.
Regardless of the fact that the majority may never represent Chelsea consistently in the Premier League, one man that looks more than able of returning to the Blues first-team fold is Andreas Christensen.
The Premier League side used the loan system well to give Thibault Courtois regular football at Atletico Madrid but apart from the goalkeeper’s case most players are sold on at a profit – see Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku as shining examples.
However, despite the fact that Christensen could be offloaded for a handsome windfall after his loan exploits for Borussia Monchengaladbach, the Denmark international has proven he is good enough to pay a sizeable role for Chelsea from next season.
Still only 20, the Dane has starred for the Borussia Park outfit in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, with his chance to play regularly in Germany clearly working in his favour.
Chelsea could, and may well, splash tens of millions on a new central defender come the summer.
However, Conte’s men can avoid this expenditure and prevent another De Bruyne/Lukaku situation by recalling Christensen and showing faith in the mercurial defender next season, with the Scandinavian possessing all the attributes to be a Premier League star.