Why a new deal for Antonio Rudiger would be a big boost for Chelsea
According to Daily Mail, Chelsea are set to enter into negotiations with Antonio Rudiger over a new long-term deal, despite recurrent injuries severely limiting the defender’s involvement in the Premier League so far this season.
Having undergone a knee surgery at the back end of the previous campaign, the 26-year-old centre-back missed the first few games of the ongoing season before returning to action in the 5-2 victory over Wolves.
However, his return to action was short-lived and the German international had to be substituted at the interval after picking up a hip injury that has sidelined him ever since.
Despite that, Chelsea are keen to open contract talks with Rudiger (h/t Daily Mail), who already has a contract at Stamford Bridge until 2022. The centre-back will have only a couple of years left on his existing deal at the end of the season and the Blues would need to move quickly to secure his long-term future.
As per the report, the West Londoners are wary of approaches from their Premier League rivals for Rudiger, with the likes of Tottenham and Man City expected to be in the market for a new centre-back next summer.
The Berlin-born defender, who joined Chelsea from AS Roma for a fee of £34million back in the summer of 2017, has established himself as a key figure at the back for the Blues over the last couple of seasons.
The 30-cap German international has carded a total of 90 appearances for the Blues in all competitions till date and was instrumental in the club’s successful campaign under Maurizio Sarri that ended with Europa League glory and a third-place finish in the Premier League.
With the transfer embargo looming large at Stamford Bridge, Rudiger could’ve had a big role to play but injuries have restricted him to only 45 minutes of action in the ongoing campaign.
Chelsea, though, have been bailed out by the performances of Kurt Zouma, who has successfully resurrected his career under Frank Lampard, following back-to-back loan spells at Stoke City and Everton. Academy prospect Fikayo Tomori has also taken advantage of Rudiger’s absence to establish himself as a regular starter.
Tomori, in particular, has been the surprise package at the heart of the defence this season, with the youngster adapting seamlessly to the highly-competitive atmosphere of the Premier League, following a successful loan stint at Derby County last season.
Leaving those individual performances aside, Chelsea’s vulnerability at the back against quality opposition has been well-documented.
To put things into perspective, Antonio Rudiger continues to be an indispensable asset to Chelsea’s backline, despite his recent struggles with injuries. A new contract for him would be nothing but a shrewd piece of business.
Still only 26, Rudiger has proven to be a commanding centre-back tailor-made for the gruelling physicality of the Premier League and he certainly has a lot to offer for the Blues moving forward.
Rudiger has done enough to earn himself a new deal at Chelsea, especially considering his performances over the last two campaigns.
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To that end, losing him a Premier League rival in the future could spell disaster for Chelsea. Hence, with that in mind, they should not hesitate to secure his future with a new deal before the end of the season.