Antonio Rudiger explained to Sky Sports his dedication to Chelsea and that talks over a new contract weren’t going to distract him.

The German defender is one of several Chelsea members to have found fresh opportunities under Thomas Tuchel.

Rudiger featured in all five of the new managers first games in charge, securing four clean sheets in the process.

This is now is longest period he’s spent in the side all season. The 27-year-old started both of Frank Lampard’s final matches before Tuchel took his job.

Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 27: Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on January 27, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Prior to his recent good run, Rudiger looked set to leave Stamford Bridge because Chelsea wanted to trim down their ballooned squad (EuroSport).

But Rudiger disclosed that this was never the case.

“Inside myself, I was always calm and relaxed, I’ll be very honest,” he said.

“I was not going crazy because I was not playing at the beginning and when you’re not in the squad, you think ‘oh wow, what’s happening?’  

“But then suddenly I was back in the team and got some games. From that moment on, my head was ‘I’m staying here at Chelsea and trying to fight for my spot’. In the last games of Frank Lampard, I was featuring even more.

“Lampard in or out, I would have stayed anyway.”

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Thomas Tuchel, Manager of Chelsea interacts with Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea following the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 04, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Those doubts now seem a distant memory as Rudiger and Chelsea revel in the Tuchel revolution.

With his short-term future no longer in doubt, questions now turn to his long-term aspirations in London.

Rudiger’s current deal runs out next summer and with the Blues desperate to sign another centre-back, his position may be under threat.

“The thing is I cannot give myself a new contract,” Rudiger admitted.

“The talks have to come from the board, from Marina (Granovskaia), I’m very calm when it comes to that.”

The Chelsea Chronicle View

I’m really glad Rudi has found his feet again because Chelsea really missed him.

I think he’s proving again why he is arguably the Blue’s best defender. I hope he sticks around for a couple more years yet.

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