'I'm really disappointed': TalkSPORT pundit is absolutely gutted that Chelsea couldn't keep hold of 'tremendous' player this summer

Scott Minto has stated his frustration at Chelsea’s inability to keep hold of Antonio Rudiger on TalkSPORT.

The German joined Chelsea in 2017, however the club’s failure to tie him down to a new contract saw him leave for Real Madrid for free.

After a rough spell under Frank Lampard, Rudiger reinvented himself as part of Thomas Tuchel’s back three, playing a crucial part in the Champions League triumph in 2021.

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Last season he played to his highest standard yet, being named as part of the Champions League’s and Premier League’s team of the season, despite not competing during the business end of the season.

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His rapid improvements drew praise around the game, with pundit Rio Ferdinand describing him as ‘tremendous’.

However, the club’s inability to operate a business this year restricted them from being able to offer out contracts, also seeing the club lose fellow defender Andreas Christensen.

Despite this, Minto believes the loss of Rudiger will prove far more costly, telling TalkSPORT about the quality of player they were losing.

He said: “I’m not that disappointed to see Christensen go, but I’m really disappointed to see Rudiger go.

“He is up there with the very best defenders in the Premier League so I’m really disappointed to see him go.”

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Rudiger came into his own over the last two seasons, although all of his best performances have come as part of a back three.

With it thought that eventually Tuchel will be looking to shift to a back four, the club will be turning their attentions now to players who have proven they can play in this system.

Jules Kounde has been touted for a long time by chiefs at Stamford Bridge, and although Barcelona are showing late interest in the Sevilla man, his performances in a defensive partnership with Diego Carlos impressed, with the latter already securing a Premier League move to Aston Villa.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.