'He will step up': Tuchel thinks £100k-a-week Chelsea player is going to have a brilliant end to the season

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel thinks Antonio Rudiger is going to enjoy a brilliant end to the 2021/22 season.

It’s already been announced that Rudiger will be leaving the Blues this summer after five memorable years at Stamford Bridge.

The £100,000-a-week defender is going to leave a sizeable void in the Chelsea backline because he’s become such a solid starter in the left centre-back role in a back three.

Hopefully, the London club can find a suitable replacement. It’s been reported that Sevilla centre-half Jules Kounde is a target for when the takeover is complete and they can sign players.

Tuchel is confident that Rudiger will “step up” in his final few games in a Chelsea shirt, though.

Asked if the leaving players are determined to finish their west London stints on a high, Tuchel replied: “I’m absolutely convinced that they want that.

“Toni (Rudiger) is important. You never finish with development and this is a key moment for his personal career. He knows it and I think he will step up. It is the moment to do it.”

Photo by Stephanie Meek – CameraSport via Getty Images

Rudiger must start final games

Some people don’t like using exit-bound players because their minds may be elsewhere, but Chelsea can’t afford to leave Rudiger out of the starting line-up right now.

With plenty left to play for in the final four games of the season, Tuchel needs to select his best available XI. The powerhouse German defender is certainly part of the best team.

Chelsea need results still in the Premier League to secure a top-four finish and hopefully third spot. There is this weekend’s FA Cup final against Liverpool, too.

Let’s hope Rudiger can bow out in style with the same kind of monstrous performances he’s given the club, particularly during the past 18 months under Tuchel.

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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.