Chelsea fans have all been witness to Antonio Rüdiger’s evolution into one of the best centre-backs in the world since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in summer 2017. Now nearing the end of the contract signed on his entrance, there are plenty of competitors for his signature in the market, making it extremely difficult for Chelsea to hold onto his talents for the next several years.
Since contract negotiations are likely one of the peskiest aspects of a footballer’s life, we are in luck that those do not seem to affect Rüdiger’s commitment to Chelsea in the slightest. His performance in our 3-0 win over Leicester this weekend was a clear demonstration of that to manager Thomas Tuchel, who goes on to add that said commitment, in light of any contract issues, goes beyond game time.
“It was a very strong performance again from Toni.
“It does not affect this mentality, it does not affect his quality and it does absolutely not affect his behaviour. He is fully committed to Chelsea right now.”
The lure of a big pay-check, coming from either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich as both European juggernauts seek to recover their status, is likely the biggest obstacle between Chelsea and Rüdiger finding an agreement. Outside of that, Tuchel believes the Blues has everything in their advantage to make it so this saga can have a ‘good ending’.
“I am absolutely sure he feels the trust and respect and the love from the club and from the spectators. He is a big competitor and he is in exactly the right spot. He is in the most competitive league, he is at a club where he really matters and that suits him perfectly, so let’s be patient and hopefully we have a good ending.”
Another thing that really matters in an environment that can be so cut-throat, but also so delicate to balance, is the relationship between player and coach. Rüdiger’s pairing with Tuchel brought to the defender his absolute best, and that is also something we hope he takes into consideration when making the decision whether to stay at the Bridge or move wherever else.
“Toni knows his role and he accepts his role and lives it to the absolute maximum.
“We demand a lot and he delivers a lot. I think a good relationship always helps me as a coach and helps every player. We want to install this and keep this. At the moment this is what we have and now it is Toni and my duty to keep this going.”
-Thomas Tuchel; Source: Chelsea FC
Until then, we shall enjoy the ‘absolute maximum’ of Rüdiger’s skills. It brought us a Champions League title last season; it can bring even more to the table in the current term.