Andreas Christensen has broken his silence after reaching the end of his contract at Chelsea, with the Denmark international opening up on how “mentally tough” the last few months have been for him.
The 26-year-old defender has brought his 10-year stint in west London to a close, with the decision made to take on a new challenge away from Premier League heavyweights.
Christensen leaves Chelsea with 161 appearances under his belt – along with Champions League, Europa League and Club World Cup winners’ medals – but he never felt like a guaranteed starter for the Blues amid talk of a move to Barcelona now being made.
Why did Christensen leave Chelsea?
Explaining why he has left the Blues at this stage of his career, Christensen wrote on in his Instagram: “I had a tough decision to make at the age of 16 to leave Denmark. I met many different clubs but there was only ever one choice for me and that was Chelsea.
“From the moment I arrived they made me feel at home, I’m grateful to Jim Fraser and Neil Bath who immediately embraced me as part of their family.
“Some of my proudest moments at the club were when we won FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League. Those were a special group of young players that I was proud to have as team-mates.
“I was fortunate to play under some fantastic managers including [Antonio] Conte, [Jose] Mourinho and now Thomas Tuchel.
“Last year was my proudest achievement as a player when we lifted the Champions League in Porto.
“I was a young boy at Chelsea with all the hopes and fears of a player starting his career, I’m grateful to the whole club for making my dream come true.
“Having spent ten amazing years at this club, I felt now was the right time for a new beginning for me and my family.
“Mentally the last few months have been tough as it’s not been an easy decision to leave this club and the fans.
“I’m not the most talkative person so sometimes people don’t understand how much the club and the fans mean to me.
“I will miss the players, staff and everyone here. I wish the best for the club and the fans in the future.”
What is next for Andreas Christensen?
GOAL learned back in March that Christensen was being lined up for a move to Barcelona.
Bayern Munich were also in the frame at that stage, but a switch to Spain was expected to be favoured over one to Germany.
No deal has been confirmed as yet, but Christensen will not be short on suitors after dropping into a free agent pool.
Alongside the 93 appearances he has made in the Premier League and 62 through two loan spells in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach, the commanding centre-half also has 56 caps for his country and will be hoping to play a prominent role for Denmark at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.