The next John Terry? Christensen advised by Gallas on how to follow in iconic footsteps

The ex-Blues defender has been impressed with the youngster, but thinks he needs to be more vocal on the pitch if he wants to emulate a club legend

Andreas Christensen has been advised by William Gallas that he needs to talk more on the pitch and add to his leadership skills if he is to live up to comparisons with Chelsea legend John Terry. 

Many, including Antonio Conte, have compared the highly-rated Dane to a club icon who won 15 major honours during a glittering spell as the Blues' most decorated captain.

Those comments have come on the back of Christensen benefitting from a two-year loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach to establish himself as a first team regular. He has, however, also faced criticism for the first time in his Chelsea career after producing a high-profile error which led to Lionel Messi snatching Barcelona an away goal in the first leg of a heavyweight Champions League last-16 encounter. 

Gallas, who once thrived alongside Terry at Stamford Bridge, says the 21-year-old must not dwell on that mistake, with it important that he continues to focus on the positives and enhancing his game. 

"He is still young and what he does is unbelievable," Gallas told Goal. "He is the main central defender for Chelsea and everybody makes mistakes. The best central defenders make mistakes. So for me, I am not worried for Christensen because when you see him playing, he is not scared because of his age.

"He takes his responsibility. He knows how to speak to his team-mates. For the next game, you have to be sure that he won’t make the same mistake. So for me, for the future, he will be a great, great defender.

"For now, we need to know if he can only play in that system with three centre backs, or if he can play with four defenders, alongside one team-mate. For the moment, in that system, he looks great. I don’t know if he will look great if you play with four defenders.

"It shows that the academy of Chelsea is really good because now everybody knows you have to spend a lot of money to bring in players. Sometimes money doesn’t make you look great, or doesn’t allow you to play very well.

"He is still young and we don’t have to put pressure on his shoulders but I had the opportunity to meet him at Cobham. When I say meet him, I just mean to say hello to him, but when I said hello, I heard from the boys that he is very mature in his head.

"I know he will have a good career. If he listens to the more experienced players, he can be one of the best defenders. He has to improve by maybe speaking a little bit more on the pitch, to be a leader in his defensive line. That is very important in football, the communication.

William Gallas and John Terry

"When I watch Chelsea, I don’t see him speaking a lot with his team-mates, maybe because he is focused on what he has to do. Some players like to do this, just to be focused on their job, but slowly, slowly he has to speak to his defensive line and midfield. That’s what John Terry used to do."

Gallas now works as a Premier League pundit on French television station SFR Sport and maintains a strong connection with Chelsea, having recently interviewed Olivier Giroud.

His Blues career saw him help the club to a first league title in 50 years, which was then immediately followed by a second. 

Terry also formed part of those successes and Conte has admitted that he tried to keep a long-serving servant at Stamford Bridge last summer as he approached the end of his contract.

Gallas thinks that a man now chasing promotion to the Premier League with Aston Villa would have made a difference in the dressing room if he had agreed to stay on.

"I think they realise this season is not easy like last season, because last season they were very focused on the Premier League," Gallas added. "They didn’t have to play in the Champions League or Europa League so it was easier for them.

John Terry leader William Gallas

"This season they have to qualify for the Champions League. It won’t be easy because you have got Manchester United, who are second at the moment. You have Tottenham and Liverpool who are very close [to Chelsea].

"You need some leaders when you don’t play well, you need some players who can shout on the pitch. That’s why John Terry was such a good captain, because he was shouting when we needed him to shout and we were listening to him.

"Even when he was younger than the other players, he was a leader and we respected him. He was the first guy on the pitch, the first tackle. It was a good example for us. It was like when you go to war, you have to know you can go to war with this soldier.

"When you see the soldier on the right side who is not scared to fight, then you want to fight with him. I think in football it is good to have the quality players but when the game is a little bit more physical and difficult, then you need that soldier. That’s why it is important to get a soldier like that in your squad to shout and show you where to go."