‘Outstanding from day one’: Thomas Tuchel heaps praise on Antonio Rudiger after dominating Leicester

‘Outstanding from day one’: Thomas Tuchel heaps praise on Antonio Rudiger after goal and clean-sheet in Leicester victory… as Chelsea boss awaits ‘happy end’ to contract stand-off with German powerhouse











Antonio Rudiger’s steep wage demands are growing more reasonable by the game. After a goal, clean-sheet and praise from Thomas Tuchel at Leicester, his case couldn’t be stronger.  

The 28-year-old headed the opener as Chelsea bullied Leicester in their own back-yard, employing the ruthlessness so loved by Tuchel to shut down the Foxes attack and force his seventh shut-out of the season.    

With the popular German’s deal slipping towards expiry next summer, interest is swelling elsewhere. Bayern Munich are reportedly willing meet his £10m wage demands, which would double his current pay.  

Antonio Rudiger put in another stunning performance as Chelsea beat Leicester 3-0 

Thomas Tuchel was delighted once again with the German, who he wants to sign a new deal

Thomas Tuchel was delighted once again with the German, who he wants to sign a new deal 

Tuchel, when asked if he agreed with assessing Rudiger’s performance as ‘brilliant’, said: ‘Yes, exclamation mark. He’s been outstanding from the first day to now. 

‘I hope it stays like this. Defensively we are strong as usual and they deserve the praise for it. They do a lot of invisible work, they protect each other, support and are brave in attacking. We want to be dangerous from set-pieces.

‘Everybody wants him to stay, it’s clear but sometimes there is a delay in these things and there is obviously a delay. He knows what he has here, a fantastic club, fantastic league. He’s a competitor. 

‘We’ll have a bit of patience and hopefully a happy end.’ 

The 28-year-old was rock solid at the back as N'Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic added goals

The 28-year-old was rock solid at the back as N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic added goals 

Rudiger has been the most influential players at Chelsea this season, playing the most minutes

Rudiger has been the most influential players at Chelsea this season, playing the most minutes

The German joined the Blues in 2017 from Roma but by the end of Frank Lampard’s reign, a likely cut-price exit looked assured. Now he’s a European champion, the envy of Europe, and absolutely crucial for Tuchel’s system.  

No Chelsea star has played more minutes than Rudiger this season, and only Kai Havertz has made more appearances. 

Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand – who lost some credibility in contract-related chat for his ‘Ole’s at the wheel’ blunder – were full of admiration for the powerhouse centre-back in the BT Sport studio. ‘They’ve got to pay him so he feels he’s paid what he should be, which is upper echelons of the squad,’ Ferdinand said.

‘I think he sees himself as one of those highest earners. He’s a player you wouldn’t want to lose in this squad, even for a few games. 

Rio Ferdinand had high praise for Rudiger and urged Chelsea to match his wage demands

Rio Ferdinand had high praise for Rudiger and urged Chelsea to match his wage demands 

The Blues are in pole position for the title and looking strong after moving six points clear

The Blues are in pole position for the title and looking strong after moving six points clear 

‘He’d be one of the first on your list because of his influence. He’s aggressive, he sets the tone and he’s normally the one to put his foot in where it hurts.’

Cole added: ‘He’s in a fantastic position (for contract talks), similar to what Callum Hudson-Odoi was in a few years ago as a valuable member of the squad. He’s fantastic and Tuchel will be wanting to get it done and dusted. 

‘There are other great CB’s at the club but I don’t think there’s anyone with his aggression and influence on the team. 

‘There’s not many better places to be playing football then in west London for Chelsea.’

After Rudiger’s opener, Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante added goals for a commanding victory at the King Power which takes the six points clear of Manchester City. 

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