Antonio Conte has hinted that he may rush Andreas Christensen back from injury to face West Bromwich Albion due to the young defender's 'importance' to Chelsea.
The Denmark international has become a key player at the back for the Blues since returning from a two-year loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer, ousting David Luiz to become a regular in the side.
Christensen saw his run of appearances come to an end after recently picking up a hamstring injury against Bournemouth, however, and the champions' defensive stats have taken a battering since.
With Christensen now closing in on fitness, Conte admits that his side's poor defensive showings may soon be resolved.
"For sure, he's an important player for us," he told reporters ahead of Monday's meeting with West Brom. "He's an important player. It happened (conceding seven goals in two games). 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. We didn't concede many goals in the past when Christensen played."
Christensen has been used 19 times in the Premier League this season and a further 10 times in other competitions.