Chelsea youngster Andreas Christensen has revealed that manager Jose Mourinho had few reservations about handing him his first-team debut in Tuesday night’s 2-1 Capital One Cup win at Shrewsbury.
Aged 18, Christensen was retained in the club’s senior squad this summer after Mourinho opted to send Tomas Kalas to FC Koln on a season-long loan, but the closest he had come to an appearance before the match at New Meadow had been a place on the bench for the previous round’s tie against Bolton Wanderers.
The Danish under-21 international admitted that his boss had given him time to prepare for the experience, informing him he would operate at right-back as oppose to his preferred central role, and also giving him some valuable advice prior to the kick-off.
‘It was nice to finally get those minutes,’ he told Chelsea TV. ‘I was told after the Manchester United game [Sunday] that I’d be starting at right-back so that gave me some time to prepare.
‘I’ve played at right-back before. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done that but I think I did alright out there.
‘The atmosphere is obviously different form the under-21 games, and it was amazing.
‘Jose just told me to be myself and play how I normally do and I’ll be fine.’
Christensen, who arrived at the club from Brondby in 2012, also noted that fellow centre-backs John Terry and Gary Cahill had been mentoring him ahead of his first-team bow.
‘TJ and Gary Cahill were telling me the same,’ he added. ‘Just play your game, play it simple for as long as you can and then once you feel comfortable try to take a few more risks.
‘It was a hard game and tough place to come. They didn’t sit back. They were attacking like a good team should.
‘I got a cramp with about 10 minutes left but I fought through it so it was a good night.’
With Chelsea’s star-studded squad, Christensen will have a hard time breaking into Mourinho’s long-term plans but, given that the likes of Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester United were all reported to be courting his signature before a deal with the Blues was struck, he no doubt has enough potential to beat the odds.