Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has defended Antonio Rudiger after recent reports about the German’s role in Frank Lampard’s sacking.
Chelsea parted ways with Lampard on Monday after the club had lost five of the last eight Premier League games.
Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has taken his place and takes charge for the first time on Wednesday.
However, in the aftermath of Lampard’s exit, reports surfaced about the causes of his downfall.
The Athletic claimed that Rudiger had clashed with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
Taking to Twitter, though, Abraham rubbished those reports, insisting that the defender has a big presence among his teammates.
“Hearing some mad stuff about Antonio Rudiger on social media today,” the England international wrote. “Complete nonsense. Toni is a big bro to all of us.”
Furthermore, Azpilicueta posted a picture (via Twitter) of him celebrating with Rudiger, captioned with three love heart emojis.
Meanwhile, The Athletic also claimed that there were rising frustrations between first-team stars who weren’t happy with their treatment.
These tensions reportedly undermined Lampard and ultimately had a hand in the Blues’ poor form of late.
Chelsea had gone on a 13-game unbeaten Premier League run earlier in the season. Indeed, the last of those matches – a 3-1 win over Leeds – sent them to the summit.
Since then, however, Chelsea have declined, winning only two of their last eight in the top flight.
Tuchel arrives in England having boasted a fantastic record at PSG. He also managed Borussia Dortmund before moving to France.
Tuchel speaks of Lampard legacy
In his first official comments as Chelsea head coach, the German thanked Lampard for his influence in building an exciting, young team.
He said: “I would like to thank Chelsea for their confidence in me and my staff.
“We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea.
“At the same time I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football.”