22 November 2021

Tuchel: Chelsea The Perfect Place For Rudiger  (Sky Sports)

Antonio RudigerThomas Tuchel says Chelsea is the perfect club for Antonio Rudiger and hopes the centre-back decides to stay at Stamford Bridge.

Rudiger's contract runs out at the end of the season and Chelsea are yet to reach an agreement on terms for an extension.

Sky Sports News has been told Chelsea will have to make the Germany international one of their highest-paid players if they wish to keep him, with six of European football's top clubs interested in his services.

Despite time running out to find a solution, Rudiger has not allowed the uncertainty to impact his performances, and head coach Tuchel has praised the professionalism of the 28-year-old defender.

"It does not affect his mentality, it does not affect his quality and it does absolutely not affect his behaviour," said Tuchel, who watched Rudiger open the scoring in Saturday's 3-0 win at Leicester.

"He is fully committed to Chelsea right now. I am absolutely sure he feels the trust and respect and the love from the club and from the spectators.

"He is a big competitor and he is in exactly the right spot. He is in the most competitive league, he is at a club where he really matters and that suits him perfectly, so let's be patient and hopefully we have a good ending."

Reece James has been a stand-out performer for Chelsea this season at wing-back, and while head coach Tuchel has big expectations for the 21-year-old, he wants to keep his player grounded.

The big improvement for James in this campaign has been his productivity, scoring four goals and providing four assists - the greatest number of goal involvements of any Chelsea player in the league.

James' performances prompted one journalist asking Tuchel ahead of Tuesday's Champions League group game against Juventus whether the England international can become the best wing-back in the world.

Thomas Tuchel says his Chelsea side still have things to improve upon, despite an impressive 3-0 win at Leicester for the Premier League leaders.
But the Chelsea head coach refused to get involved with such debate, saying: "For me, I see no reason why we should now get carried away and think about things like 'is he the best in the world, the best in England or the best in Europe'.

"This does not help us. I am happy when he tries to be the best Reece James today in training. If he plays he needs to be the best version of himself in the best position.

"He can play in a back three, as a wing-back and for England he played in a midfield position. He did for us when we played in Aston Villa last year. He is improving. He takes responsibility and it is needed.

"He is far from finished in his development. He is super young, has all the potential to be a big and important player for Chelsea. He is on his way. Not more and obviously not less.

"I feel him dedicated and hungry for more. This is what we want."