Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel provides an update on Antonio Rudiger
According to Metro, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said that he was relaxed about the contract situation surrounding defender Antonio Rudiger amidst rumours of a move away from London for the German international. The former Roma man’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season, and he has been linked with several European top-flight sides, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United.
When asked if he had been taking Rudiger for coffee and dinner to appease the centre-back, Tuchel remarked that instead of coffees, the defender needs to feel ‘the connection and the trust’, and this would only be possible through ‘minutes and actions’. The last thing that the German boss feels that Rudiger needs are ‘words and pampering’.
Rudiger has not yet made a final decision on his future, with Chelsea facing the prospect of losing the 28-year-old on a free transfer in the coming months. However, Tuchel believes that the club’s ongoing talks with the defender is ‘in good hands’.
“‘It’s in good hands, I trust the club and my player. it’s not a problem for me. Toni can still deliver for us so he’s super reliable, nothing has changed.”
Tuchel also spoke about the speculation surrounding the futures of Ross Barkley and Emerson Palmieri. Barkley has struggled for minutes under the German this season, and has been linked for a move to two of his former clubs – Leeds United and Everton. However, the Chelsea boss was adamant that Barkley can become a key player for the Blues.
“‘There’s always a chance to make it into the squad, the team and onto the pitch. The situation has not changed. We will make a decision later [on him starting against Chesterfield in the FA Cup].”
Meanwhile, Emerson was sent on loan to Lyon back in August. With Ben Chilwell ruled out for the rest of the season, Emerson has been tipped to be recalled by the Blues as cover at left-back. Tuchel remained tight-lipped about the Italian’s potential recall.
“We know and appreciate him as a person [Emerson] and a player even though he didn’t have many minutes last season. But it’s not only what I wish for.”
Although the unclear futures of Barkley and Emerson will not worry Blues fans, the prospect of losing Rudiger is worrisome. The German international has been an outstanding performer for us at the heart of the defence. If his contract situation is not resolved by the end of the season, we stand to lose an experienced centre-back and one of the Premier League’s best players.
Despite facing criticism from fans and pundits alike at the start of his Chelsea career, Rudiger has grown into one of our most reliable defenders. It would be a big loss if the club does not manage to keep the German beyond the summer.
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Barkley has had a minimal impact for us since his move from Everton, so seeing the Englishman being linked away from Stamford Bridge would not cause much of a hue and cry for the Blues faithful. The midfielder is certainly talented as we saw at Everton, and if he does move back to his former club, we can hope that Barkley can regain some of his old magic.
The rumours around Emerson being recalled as cover for the injured Chilwell would be a smart move, if true. Although the Italian international never really established himself in the first team, he was an able deputy at times for us. Given that what we need at the moment is a cover till the end of the season, having someone who has experience in the Premier League as well as linking up with the Chelsea players makes Emerson an ideal candidate for the left-back position.
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