Andreas Christensen has penned a farewell message to Chelsea fans as he prepares to finalise his move to Barcelona.
The centre-back brought his ten-year association with Chelsea to a close this summer as he allowed his contract to expire in order to seal a free transfer to Barça, despite Blues officials twice believing that they had reached an agreement over fresh terms with him.
Ultimately, they could not get a deal over the line and Christensen attracted plenty of criticism from supporters as a result, and the Dane has now admitted how tough it was to decide to leave Stamford Bridge.
“Having spent ten amazing years at this club, I felt now was the right time for a new beginning for me and my family,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Christensen joined the Chelsea academy in 2012 and leaves with 160 appearances to his name, as well as a Champions League winner’s medal.
“I had a tough decision to make at the age of 16 to leave Denmark,” Christensen continued. “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.
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“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 teammates.
“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.”