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Chelsea’s £100k-a-week outcast to be reintegrated into the team – A masterstroke by Lampard?

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger in action. (Getty Images)
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger in action. (Getty Images)

Why Lampard is right in integrating Antonio Rudiger into the team once again

According to Daily Mail, Frank Lampard could be all set to call back Antonio Rudiger into the Chelsea first-team. The defender had direct talks with Lampard and could now be provided with more chances. He is yet to feature even once this season and there were talks of him leaving in the summer.

Antonio Rudiger completed a move to Chelsea back in the summer of 2017. The 27-year-old had been one of the mainstays of the Blues’ backline over the past three seasons, featuring 115 times across all competitions.

However, the £100k-a-week German has slipped drastically down the pecking order under Frank Lampard this season, having not featured in any of Chelsea’s games this season so far.

Antonio Rudiger playing for his German national team.
Antonio Rudiger playing for his German national team. (Getty Images)

Rudiger remained an unused substitute on the bench in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Brighton on the opening day of the campaign but has failed to make any matchday squads for the subsequent games. He did make an appearance on the bench in the Manchester United game but wasn’t called upon.

A full international for Germany since 2014, Rudiger has accumulated 35 caps for his nation (source – Transfermarkt), winning the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup with Die Mannschaft while also featuring at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Why Rudiger’s inclusion was needed

Chelsea have been a treat to watch in the attack this season. However, it is when the opposition take a crack at them that their fragilities come to the fore in an ugly way.

Chelsea’s German defender Antonio Rudiger controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on June 21, 2020. (Photo by MOLLY DARLINGTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

They have kept two clean sheets in 6 games so far, while conceding a staggering 12 goals. Twice they drew games with 3-3 scorelines and it was only after the introduction of Edouard Mendy in goal that they have looked much better.

Lampard has tried a variety of options at centre-back but none has been inspiring. Thiago Silva, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma have all been tried and tested with varying degrees of success. Only Thiago Silva has looked solid in recent games. The introduction of Rudiger here could be a masterstroke if it clicks.

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He has always been very reliable whenever he has played and can be the solution to Lampard’s defensive woes if things go well. The German is vastly experienced and if he can form a partnership with Thiago, it would be quite useful for Lampard’s Chelsea.

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