Ndreas Christensen has opened up on the “mentally difficult” final months of his Chelsea career and says few people understand how much the club means to him.
Christensen is expected to join Barcelona as a free agent after leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract. His departure, along with that of Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid, leaves Thomas Tuchel with a major defensive rebuild in his hands this summer.
The Denmark international spent 10 years at Chelsea after leaving Brondby to join the Blues academy in 2012.
After two seasons on loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Christensen returned to make his breakthrough at Chelsea in the 2017-18 campaign and won the Champions League, Europa League and Club World Cup during his time at the club.
Chelsea were unhappy with the way he left and believe he walked away from an agreement to stay.
“I had a difficult decision to make at the age of 16 to leave Denmark,” Christensen said in a statement. “I met many different clubs but there was only one choice for me and that was Chelsea. From the moment I arrived they made me feel at home, I am grateful to Jim Fraser and Neil Bath who immediately welcomed me as part of their family.
“Some of my proudest moments at the club were when we won the FA Youth Cup and the UEFA Youth League. It was a special group of young players that I was proud to have as teammates.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play under fantastic managers, including [Antonio] Tale, [Jose] Mourinho and now Thomas Tuchel. Last year, my greatest pride as a player was when we won the Champions League at Porto.
“I was a young lad 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.”
His time at Chelsea, however, ended on a sour note, with Tuchel publicly accusing the centre-back of withdrawing from matches – including the FA Cup final loss to Liverpool – on the morning of the game.
It was also reported that Chelsea became furious after believing they had agreed a new five-year deal with the 26-year-old, only for him to walk away.
“Having spent ten incredible years at this club, I felt it was the right time for a fresh start for me and my family,” he added. “Mentally the last few months have been difficult because it was not 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’m going to miss the players, the staff and everyone here. I wish the best for the club and the fans in the future.”