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Conte ruing absence of 'fantastic' Christensen

Antonio Conte says it is no coincidence that Chelsea's recent defensive troubles have come when Andreas Christensen has been out injured.

After spending two seasons out on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, Christensen has forced his way into the first team under Conte in 2017-18 in place of David Luiz.

Christensen's most recent start came in the 3-0 reverse to Bournemouth, but the Dane was replaced after 28 minutes due to a hamstring injury.

The score at that point was 0-0 but Chelsea went on the suffer a heavy loss, and followed that up with a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Watford on Monday.

His absence has not gone unnoticed at Stamford Bridge, Conte admitting Christensen has become a vital member of his backline. 

"For sure, he's an important player for us," said the Italian. "He's an important player

"It happened, this [that Chelsea conceded seven goals in the last two games without him]. It's right to look at the stats, but we have to take the stats in the right way. 

"But, for sure, Christensen is an important player for us. He's playing a fantastic season."

Christensen could return for Chelsea's clash with West Brom on Monday.