Chelsea's Andreas Christensen may be forced to leave 'very difficult' situation

Andreas Christensen has admitted that he finds his current lack of opportunities at Chelsea "very difficult" to deal with and could look to leave Stamford Bridge if the situation does not improve.

Maurizio Sarri's shift to a back four has reduced Chelsea's starting centre-back spots from three to two this season, and the return from exile of a rejuvenated David Luiz alongside Antonio Rudiger has left Christensen invariably among the substitutes.

Christensen was the main beneficiary of Luiz's falling out with Sarri's predecessor Antonio Conte last season, making 27 Premier League appearances and 23 as a starter, but the talented 22-year-old has been reduced entirely to outings in the Europa League and Carabao Cup so far this term.

And if he cannot convince Sarri that he is worthy of a regular starting spot, Christensen warned that he is ready to go elsewhere to ensure his development does not stall.

"It has been a difficult start to the season," he told Danish publication BT. "To be honest, it has been very difficult.

"I can't stand having to have so much patience again. I'm 22 years old now and I really want to play. In the last three seasons I've played regularly for the teams I've been at, so of course I don't see myself staying if my current situation remains the same in the future.

"It's too early to talk about when I'm going to move, or if I'm going to move at all. But it's clearly not a good situation for me. It has been difficult to get into the team, and when we're getting good results like we are right now, it only makes it even harder. It's great for the team, but for me personally it's been a tough start to the season.

"I had looked forward to getting our new manager. We play really good football, explosive, and offensively it's all you can wish for as a player. So it's great in that sense, but it's really frustrating that I'm not on the pitch."

Christensen joined Chelsea in 2012 at the age of 16 from Brondby. He won the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League in the Blues' academy before spending two seasons on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, where regular appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League helped establish himself as one of the brightest young defenders in Europe.

"It was just a great fit, and it's a big part of why I'm here now," he said of his Gladbach experience in an interview with ESPN in January.

"We used the ball a lot and they wanted to play football. I think that helped me a lot. You get put in difficult situations in Germany -- every team likes to press high and you can even end up staying one vs one the whole game, so you have to think a lot and prepare yourself."

Christensen signed a new long-term contract in January that commits him to Chelsea until June 2022.