Toni Rudiger’s season has lurched from one extreme to the other. Now the defender is in some of the best form of his Chelsea career but he revealed today just how close he came to leaving the club last summer.
Rudiger was out of the favour at the start of the campaign, finding himself as our fifth-choice centre-back and not in the matchday squad for the fixtures against Liverpool, West Brom or Crystal Palace.
At a press conference this afternoon ahead of our Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid tomorrow, the German was asked just how near he was to departing Stamford Bridge before the transfer window shut belatedly in October.
‘I was close,’ Rudiger replied.
‘Some things I saw coming, but not being in the squad I didn’t see coming. I took it on the chin. There was one team I was considering, that was PSG, and also there was Mourinho, but this didn’t happen, and with Tuchel also the same didn’t happen, so I was a bit upset because I knew with my situation I would not play that often.
‘I had a talk with Lampard and I was back on the bench, I had a couple of games and I worked my way back. The last games of his reign I was on the pitch. Now, things are going well for me, I am very happy about it.
‘I always felt well in the club, they treated me nice, nobody told from upstairs, the board, that I should leave, nor did Frank Lampard.’
Rudiger’s current deal runs until the end of next season, and he was also asked if he had been in discussions about getting a new contract.
‘Everyone here at the club knows how much I like this club. It’s down to the people who make these decisions. At the moment it’s for me to concentrate on important matches and our targets. The rest I am sure we will resolve.
‘Even at the beginning of the season when things didn’t go my way, I was always calm like I am now. I cannot give myself a contract, so I have to wait for what happens. Whatever happens, I love it here at Chelsea and Chelsea will always be my priority, my number one.’
We are still offering small business at the heart of the city access to free advertising across our social channels as a way of saying thank you for driving London forward in this pandemic – click for more info and to register