‘Never gave him a chance’: Sherwood says Chelsea 28-year-old’s been a revelation since Lampard left
Tim Sherwood sang the praises of Antonio Rudiger’s rise following the appointment of Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea boss in January.
Speaking on Premier League Productions, Sherwood picked out Rudiger’s revival after he was on target against Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.
The giant German calmly slotted away Chelsea’s third on Sunday afternoon at the home of their London rival adversary.
His goal added an extra flourish to what’s been a formidable start to the season.
He has featured in all five of the Blues’ league games, played 120 minutes and scored a penalty in the UEFA Super Cup final, plus had an outstanding performance in the mid-week Champions League win over Zenit St Petersburg.
Rudiger’s form is just a continuation of the reincarnation established under Tuchel last term.
It appeared the 28-year-old’s spell at Stamford Bridge had come to an end whilst Frank Lampard was at the helm.
However, a change in the managerial chair altered the course of the defender’s future.
He was instantly reinstalled to the side and has rarely moved from his perch since.
“He’s been a revelation, Rudiger,” said Sherwood.
“Frank Lampard never gave him a look in.
“He’s (Tuchel) decided to go three at the back and this kid has been a real leader for them.”
In hindsight, it seems absurd that Lampard ever decided to overlook Rudiger.
It’s also unfathomable to think the centre-back could be leaving Chelsea on a free next summer.
There have been no official talks over extending his deal, which expires in June.
If this issue is not resolved in the next few months, rival clubs can arrange a pre-contract agreement in January.
To let a player of Rudiger’s stature and importance depart for nothing would be foolish on several levels.
Especially if Chelsea fail to find a suitable replacement.
Jules Kounde is still a primary target, although the saga that ensued in the last transfer window might be cause for concern.