It is almost a certainty that Antonio Rudiger will bring his Chelsea stint to a close after five years with the team. Speculation is rife that a number of top teams are chasing the German international defender whose contract at Stamford Bridge is set to run out in the summer of 2022. Rudiger’s future is unclear, there is any number of attractive options for him. What is clear is that Chelsea will find it difficult to replace Antonio Rudiger.
Is It Possible to Replace Antonio Rudiger?
Rudiger is a very capable defender in every sense of the word. His positioning is on point, he’s fast enough to keep up with any attacker, he’s strong enough to deal with any challenge and he isn’t afraid to commit to a tackle. While he may not be the best in the world in any of these areas he is an all-rounder. Getting another centre-back with such a wide skill set will be a tough proposition for Chelsea. However, this isn’t the most pressing issue ahead of his impending exit. It is in fact his attacking skills.
One of the staples of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side is the offensive duties of the defenders. Antonio Rudiger takes this challenge to heart and often breaks the line to make dangerous forays forward, it is not uncommon for Stamford Bridge to ring out with cries of “shoot” anytime the German brings the ball forward. What’s impressive is these forays forward never seem to leave Chelsea lacking at the back, Rudiger and his teammates can seamlessly rotate to make sure the defence is ready for any counter-attack. Part of that is Rudiger knowing when it’s the right time to give the ball away and get back. For Chelsea, finding a defender with these capabilities, as well as a solid defensive skill set, is going to be a near-impossible task. The club has locked down Thiago Silva who can take over ball-playing duties but he is a short-term solution and is much more of a risk than Rudiger, given his age.
Antonio Rudiger is an important cog in the Chelsea machine, both offensively and defensively, and replacing him in the summer is going to be key to the continued success of the team under Thomas Tuchel. Unfortunately for Chelsea, it isn’t every day that you come across a player like Rudiger. It will be interesting to see how Chelsea go about finding someone to replace Antonio Rudiger and whether that comes in the form of a like-for-like swap, a number of additions, or someone like Trevoh Chalobah being asked to widen his skill set.