Tuchel reveals what sets Chelsea star apart amid fears of major drop-off in form

Date published: Monday 22nd November 2021 10:16 - Jonny Whitfield

Antonio Rudiger, Mason Mount Chelsea v Real Madrid May 2021

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel believes that being able to work with any manager is one of Antonio Rudiger’s standout traits, amid continued speculation over his future.

The defender has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance under the current Blues boss, following a tough spell. While he played a key role under Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri, he struggled for minutes under Frank Lampard.

As a result, he has had strong transfer links with a move across London to Tottenham. Those have not gone away amid Rudiger’s contract expiring at the end of the season.

Nevertheless, there remains a possibility that the Germany international could sign a new deal. In any case, the former Roma man scored and put in another commanding defending display as Chelsea beat Leicester 3-0 on Saturday.

After the game, Tuchel admitted that there is an obvious “delay” in the talks.

However, the manager told The Independent that uncertainty over Rudiger’s contract has not – and will not – affect his commitment to Chelsea.

“It was a very strong performance from Toni,” Tuchel said. “He’s been outstanding from day one and he is getting better and better, on a very high level.

“The situation is the situation. We want him to stay – this is very clear and he knows it – but sometimes in these situations there is a certain delay.”

Tuchel said that despite the delay, it “absolutely does not affect his behaviour”.

He added: “He is in exactly the right spot – he is in the most competitive league and at a club where winning matters.

“That suits him perfectly. So, let’s be a bit patient and hopefully we have a happy end.”

Overall, Rudiger has made 165 appearances for Chelsea since his 2017 move from Roma. As such, Tuchel hailed his versatility under different coaching styles as one of his key traits.

Tuchel hails Rudiger for Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger Chelsea

“I think that the top quality from Toni is that he can deliver no matter who is on the sideline” he said.

“He was a strong player in Italy and he played under several coaches for Chelsea and was strong. He knows what to do and accepts his role, and lives it to the absolute maximum.

“We demand a lot from him but he delivers a lot. Actually I don’t think he is dependent on who is on the sideline.”

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Meanwhile, in more worrying reports, Mason Mount reportedly feels underappreciated by Tuchel. The 22-year-old came through the club’s academy, following Lampard back to London from Derby.

However, a report on Sunday claimed that he does not feel as highly valued as players who arrived for big transfer fees.

The Blues return to action on Tuesday, facing Juventus in the Champions League.

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