Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Chelsea Hit Roadblock In Contract Talks For Star Player: Should The Blues Meet His Demands?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Eurosport, Antonio Rudiger is reluctant on extending his contract at Chelsea. The defender apparently wants to weigh up his options amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain. As such, he is holding out for a significant pay raise and is demanding a hefty £200k a week salary. Chelsea are not willing to commit to that at the moment, given the German only earns around £130k per week right now.

Antonio Rudiger’s Revival At Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger was not always one of Chelsea‘s best defenders. In fact, he was a much-maligned figure at Stamford Bridge, especially under the leadership of Frank Lampard, whose attacking style of play had made Chelsea quite vulnerable in defence.

But under new coach Thomas Tuchel, Rudiger has enjoyed a swift revival. The German’s more pragmatic and cautious style of play has helped the former Stuttgart centre-back establish himself in the Chelsea backline. He hasn’t disappointed either, showcasing excellent work ethic and marking prowess during the past eight months or so.

Indeed, Rudiger’s performances were critical in helping the Blues seal the UEFA Champions League title last term. It was also important in helping them finish in the top four. The former Dortmund youth player has also emerged as one of Germany’s best defenders, building a solid partnership alongside Niklas Sule, under the tutelage of new coach Hansi Flick.

Antonio Rudiger is reluctant on extending his contract - He has been impeccable.
London, England, 14th August 2021. Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK SPI-1131-0109

Does Rudiger Deserve A Raise?

It would be ignorant to not acknowledge the impact Antonio Rudiger has had in the Chelsea defence over the past six months. His experience, leadership and work ethic have been critical in guiding the club forward, and it could become even more important in the future, as Cesar Azpilicueta nears the end of his career while Thiago Silva is set to leave the club in the summer.

Keeping hold of Rudiger should thus be a priority for the west London giants. The defender should play an invaluable role for the club over the next few years, perhaps emerging as a potential club captain. And while providing a £200k per week, it appears to be the safer option rather than gambling a fortune on the young Jules Kounde.

Indeed, Chelsea already have young, talented defenders coming up their ranks including Trevoh Chalobah. So retaining the services of an experienced star like Rudiger could go a long way in helping the club sustain their growth in the future.

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