Antonio Rüdiger has not started either one of Chelsea’s two games so far this season, and against Liverpool, he wasn’t even on the bench — Fikayo Tomori was, and he isn’t even supposed to be here, with Everton and Rennes supposedly both waiting for him on loan.
It didn’t take long from the moment the lineups dropped yesterday for the speculation to begin, and Sky Sports have doubled down on that today by claiming that Rüdiger is “considering his future” at the club since he wants “regular football” especially with Euro
2020 2021 coming up at the end of the season.
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is considering his future at the club.— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 21, 2020
That may seem premature, but it’s an easy — and dare I say, sensible — narrative to craft, one that has been slowing brewing since the start of the summer in fact, when he was briefly linked with Liverpool. We have one too many center backs and Rüdiger is the oldest non-new signing of the lot. Lampard claimed that the decision to leave Rüdiger out was just a “selection one”, but that just confirms that the 27-year-old is nowhere near first-choice at the moment. With two years left on his contract and not an extension in sight (quickly dissipated rumors in April aside), it also makes the most financial sense to sell now rather than next summer, for when Chelsea have supposedly penciled in the great defensive overhaul (as also evidenced by the temporary reinforcement by way of Thiago Silva).
Inevitable there would be a story about Rudiger's future after being left out of #CFC squad. I'm not getting the impression he will force a move just yet, but Lampard has made it clear he prefers others & Silva will make debut soon. Clubs are bound to make an enquiry for him.— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) September 21, 2020
In a way, this situation is reminscient of David Luiz’s situation last summer, even down to the part where Fikayo Tomori has his bags packed and ready to leave on loan but might instead stay as a more veteran center back opts to leave for better guaranteed minutes elsewhere. Many would argue that keeping Tomori over a serviceable but never quite as good as hoped for initially player would make more sense in the long run as well — even if Agent Toni had given a nice helping hand in the signing of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz as well.
That doesn’t mean any of this is going to happen, but with a little over two weeks left in the transfer window, it’s certainly a situation to keep an eye on — and could it even maybe help fund a late move for Declan Rice? Though now I’m speculating as well...