Chelsea have secured the immediate future of the highly rated Andreas Christensen by committing him to a fresh four-and-a-half-year contract. The club announced through its director Marina Granovskaia on Wednesday evening that the Dane would be staying with Chelsea till at least 2022.

This has truly been Christensen’s season, with the 21-year-old making 22 appearances in all competitions so far as the central defender in Antonio Conte’s three-at-the-back system. Assured, great on the ball and with a composure that belies his tender age, he has seen more experienced performers like David Luiz relegated to the bench even for the most crucial of the Blues’ games.

“This contract is reward for the excellent form Andreas has shown in the first half of the season,” explained Granovskaia. “He showed immense potential when he signed for Chelsea in 2012 and is now enjoying the benefits of the dedication and professionalism he has shown since.

“After two seasons on loan in Germany we were convinced he was ready to be a part of the squad this season and he has grasped the opportunity with both hands. We are delighted he has chosen to commit his future to Chelsea and we look forward to four-and-a-half more successful years with Andreas at the club.”

The deal was announced hours before a highly anticipated Carabao Cup semifinal first leg clash against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, another game for which  Christensen was named in the starting XI at the expense of Luiz and captain Gary Cahill.

Kalas’ two cents

Christensen’s recent rise to prominence to Chelsea along with the new contract has been heralded by many as a vindication of the English champions’ much-maligned loan system. Does this mean that there’s hope for other young stars at the club?

Fellow academy graduate Tomas Kalas, currently out on loan at Fulham for his second consecutive year in a row, is one who doesn’t want to read too much into the Dane’s success. The versatile Czech, who is two years Christensen’s senior, pointed to John Terry being the only homegrown player to have made the jump into the Chelsea first team in the last two decades as a reason why he and his fellow loanees can’t afford to be too hopeful.

“He’s the second guy after John Terry in the last 20 years so, if you take it like that, it’s not saying anything,” he told The Sun. “Obviously if I can see a guy who is years younger than me playing now for Chelsea, it’s inspirational.

“But I have to see what I can give them, what I’m good at and if they’ve got it or not. So far they have it so that’s why I was on loan. If it has to be like that, I’m not going to go there and not play.”

Header image: “Andreas Christensen vs Chuba Akpom” (CC BY 2.0) by Kieran Clarke