Antonio Rudiger sends message to Chelsea quartet about rivalry

The Chelsea star is relishing the competition for a first-team place at the defending Premier League champions

Mohamed Salah and Antonio Rudiger Photo: Antonio Rudiger / Instagram

Antonio Rudiger has warned Chelsea quartet Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen and Luiz that he is ready to capitalise on any opportunuties to shine in Antonio Conte’s team.

The German defender moved to the defending Premier League champions in a £34m deal from Serie A giants AS Roma in the summer transfer window to improve Conte’s defensive options at Stamford Bridge.

Rudiger has started nine of Chelsea’s 14 games in the Premier League so far this season as Conte continues to rotate his back three given problems with injuries and form in the 2017-18 seasons so far.

The Germany international started the Blues’ home clash against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night and Rudiger scored a 55th-minute winner in west London.

The 24-year-old defender has also found the net in 2-1 victory over Everton in the League Cup back in October.

However, summer signing Rudiger is well aware that his place in the Chelsea team is far from guaranteed given the competition for a first-team place at Stamford Bridge.

“We have some momentum and that is why we also have to rotate and everyone needs to get in their best form. We have to keep going and winning,” Rudiger told Chelsea’s website.

“Football is about competition and I know we have good players like Christensen, Cahill, Azpilicueta and David Luiz, and it is important if I get the chance to try to help the team like this.

“I am very happy because my aim is always to help the team and if I get a goal like this it is always very good.”

Chelsea will welcome promoted side Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon as Rafael Benitez returns to his former employers.

The Blues are in third place in the Premier League table but nine points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

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