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A dozen blue roses

A dozen blue roses

Valentine's Day is looming... so who in the Chelsea dressing room truly deserves a fans’ bouquet? Eden Hazard, for his exquisite footwork? Cesar Azpilicueta for his all-round, underappreciated dependability? Willian, for continuing to dazzle even though he's no longer an automatic first pick? Or how about unrufflable teenager Ethan Ampadu, whose ‘Whatever’ expression and dreadlocked

Valentine’s Day is looming… so who in the Chelsea dressing room truly deserves a fans’ bouquet?

Eden Hazard, for his exquisite footwork? Cesar Azpilicueta for his all-round, underappreciated dependability? Willian, for continuing to dazzle even though he’s no longer an automatic first pick?

Or how about unrufflable teenager Ethan Ampadu, whose ‘Whatever’ expression and dreadlocked thatch mask a serious developing talent? What about the quietly determined Danny Drinkwater, or even the supreme stalker N’Golo Kante, who steals up on opponents, robs them of the ball and vanishes before they realise a footballing crime has been committed?

As Tony Conte counts down the final four months until he gives up on London and returns to Italy, I’ll fling a less obvious name into the mix as people’s sweetheart.

Andreas Christensen. Without fanfare he has assumed David Luiz’s role at the heart of defence, in the middle of Conte’s back three.

Still coveted by Borussia Monchengladbach, where he spent two years on loan, he has now signed at the Bridge until 2022… the kind of contract Chelsea’s management would dearly love Hazard to accept.

He has earned his place in the first team, even if the opportunity to cement his position came out of the blue, and the 21-year-old Dane may well finish his career as one of the Blues’ most valued, respected and long-lasting servants… if he stays until the mid 2030s!

Like Ampadu, he has the calmness and unflappability usually found in players with much more

experience. He’s also happy at Chelsea, and content living in the capital, unlike some of the Blues’ other restless talents.

“I just look forward to every game, and what comes with it,” he said. Give him the bouquet.

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