Right around this time last year, Chelsea were reportedly beginning contract talks with Antonio Rüdiger, who at the time had a little over two years left on his contract. Evidently, those talks didn’t lead anywhere, and in fact, just a few months later, Rüdiger was on the transfer list and with a foot practically out the door already.
But in yet another example of how unpredictable all this can be, Rüdiger ended up not only staying at the club, but working his way back into the first-team reckoning, rising from fifth-choice to second under Frank Lampard and only continuing to go from strength to strength under Thomas Tuchel. These days, he’s surely one of the first names on the team sheet.
That roller-coaster may yet take another turn however, as Rüdiger is one of several defenders on the team who will be entering the final years of their contracts. And that might be helpful if we are to engineer a defensive rebuild, but according to the Daily Mail, Chelsea don’t want to lose the 28-year-old just yet, and we are “aiming” to start contract extension talks anew. And while this was apparently always on the cards, Toni’s good form has brought them forward as Chelsea look to avoid any “doubt over his future” in the summer.
Although Rüdiger has certainly been in fine form lately, whether he’s truly that irreplaceable is up for debate...