'Big thanks': Paul Canoville sends heartfelt message to £29m Chelsea player before he leaves for good

Paul Canoville has sent a heartfelt message to Antonio Rudiger before he officially leaves Chelsea this summer.

Rudiger, who cost the Blues £29million five years ago, is about to end his five-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

It’s been confirmed the Chelsea defender is leaving at the end of the season when his contract expires. He will then reportedly join Real Madrid on 1 July in a deal worth £342,000-a-week.

The 29-year-old’s gone from strength to strength during his career in west London, especially since Thomas Tuchel took charge as his manager. He’ll now leave as one of the top centre-backs in the game, too.

Tuchel has suggested Rudiger’s imminent exit is unlikely to impact him playing in the final two games of the Premier League season this week.

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Canoville message to Rudiger

Ex-Chelsea player Canoville has uploaded a post on Twitter to celebrate Rudiger’s career for the Blues.

If he plays the final games of this campaign, he’ll leave with 203 Chelsea appearances.

The centre-half will be able to reflect on winning the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup during his time at the Bridge.

Chelsea void

It’s one huge job for the club to find a like-for-like replacement for Rudiger.

He’s one of the most charismatic defenders around who plays with such energy and aggression, but he’s managed in recent years to combine that with authority and experience.

It’s likely that centre-halves stepping into the side may need to be allowed some time to hit similar dizzy heights.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.