It was barely six months ago Chelsea fans were convinced Andreas Christensen was going to be marshalling their defence for years to come.
Now, under the leadership of Maurizio Sarri, the Denmark international is so out of favour that he hasn’t seen a single minute of Premier League action in the 2018-19 campaign.
The Italian has restricted Christensen to six outings in the Europa League and League Cup, instead opting for David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger as his preferred centre-back partnership.
Last term, the 22-year-old made Antonio Conte's starting line-up in 34 of his 40 appearances in all competitions, so it’s no wonder he feels slightly hard done by.
Moreover, the fact he managed to establish himself in the Blues’ first-team off the back of a two-year loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach only serves to compound his frustration.
The situation has prompted talk of a potential move during the winter window, whether it be temporary or otherwise.
Christensen - who has called Stamford Bridge home since joining from Brondby as a 15-year-old - admits he could be forced to make a big decision come January.
“It’s different from last season – I played a lot of games and this season it hasn’t been like that,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s always difficult for a player but we’ll see what happens.”
Asked if he will attempt to force his exit if the state of play doesn’t change, he added:
“It’s a difficult question. I think if you asked every player that’s not playing if they are happy, they are going to say ‘no’.
“Everyone wants to play. I can’t do anything else but go back there, train and do my best.
“Every time I get an opportunity, I have to do well and perform well and show him [Sarri] that he can count on me.
“You don’t want to sit around and wait for it, you want to play. Not playing isn’t fun and it’s a different situation from last season.”
WHAT CHRISTSENSEN'S DAD SAID
These latest comments echo a threat made by his father, who in mid-October told Danish television: “If his situation doesn’t change around Christmas, we’ll obviously schedule a chat with Chelsea and say: ‘Okay, what can we do for Andreas? Can we move him?’
“For me it’s not a loan again. Either it’s Chelsea or else he needs to leave. I don’t think a loan is the optimal situation for Andreas. It’s sort of either or."
CHELSEA FANS REACT
Here's what Chelsea fans make of the predicament...
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