Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said he expects defender Antonio Rudiger to remain focused and professional ahead of his sides crucial Premier League run-in.
The 29-year-old is set to leave the club upon the expiry of his contract this summer, with Real Madrid said to have agreed terms with the defender.
But with the Blues still having three important domestic clashes in order to secure Champions League qualification, as well as the upcoming FA Cup final this weekend, Rudiger will no doubt be a key part of the German boss’ plans.
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Addressing the former Roma man’s imminent future, Tuchel admitted that players are keen to leave a club in a ‘blaze of glory’ but suggested it may be harder to do so than many players may imagine.
“I’m absolutely convinced that they want that,” the Blues boss said ahead of Wednesday’s game with Leeds at Elland Road. “Maybe they underestimated the impact that decisions to sign for another club have, the impact that it has.
“I have the feeling that they experience it now themselves, but that they don’t want this and they don’t do it intentionally, but this is the case, we feel that it is different, a different approach to the games. Maybe these kind of shock experiences are necessary to really wake up and not go out of the season like this.”
When asked just how pivotal the 29-year-old can be in the final matches, Tuchel added: “Yes he 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 tomorrow [Wednesday, against Leeds]. It is the moment to do it.”
Rudiger will make his 200th appearance for the club if he plays against Leeds in what would also be his 51st game for the Blues in all competitions this season.
Source by Football London