'Just give him the money': Emmanuel Petit urges Chelsea FC to extend Antonio Rudiger's contract

Emmanuel Petit urges Chelsea FC to get Antonio Rudiger to commit his future to the club by signing a new deal

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (Photo: YouTube / Screengrab)

Emmanuel Petit has urged Chelsea FC to pay up and extend Antonio Rudiger’s contract with the club.

The 28-year-old’s situation at Stamford Bridge has been a source of uncertainty for the last few months as the clock ticks down on his current deal with the Premier League leaders.

Rudiger’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and the situation means that he would be free to discuss a possible move away with foreign clubs in January.

The German defender has been a key part of Chelsea FC’s title-challenging side this season, with Rudiger having started 10 of their 11 games in the Premier League to help them build a three-point lead at the top of the table.

It remains to be seen whether Rudiger will commit his future to the south west London club or not – but former Chelsea FC and Arsenal star Petit feels that the Blues should make it a priority to give the defender the terms he is asking for.

Speaking in an interview with bookmakers.co.uk, as quoted by The Daily Mail, Petit said of Rudiger: “If he leaves, it would be a real pity for Chelsea. If I remember correctly before Tuchel came in he was on the bench and wasn’t playing. Now he looks like one of the best defenders around.

“He could leave on a free and Chelsea would have to spend a minimum of £30m to find a new defender of his level, and there’s never a guarantee a buy will work out. If he asks for two more years, just give him the money.”

Petit continued: “This guy is a survivor. Since Tuchel has been the manager he’s been one of the top defenders in world football.

“He reminds me of the crazy defenders I used to play with back in the day like Martin Keown. Those types of guys were always really tough on other players, and playing against them was both a physical and mental battle because they could make you feel bad on the pitch.

“I think Rudiger is similar, and it must be very tough to be on the pitch with him because you can disappear very quickly. He always plays the ball but he also plays the players and strikers know that and it can be intimidating.

“Sometimes he tries to destroy strikers, and I don’t really like that side of his game. But for me, the priority of a defender is to scare strikers. People might not understand that but it’s true, you have to scare them to try and stop them from scoring goals.

“For me, Rudiger is one of the hardest defenders in the world.”

Speaking back in October, Rudiger himself appeared to hint that he would be extending his stay at Stamford Bridge – but there has not yet been any official word from the club on his situation.

“The most important thing is that I feel happy here,” Rudiger told The Guardian in October.

“I think if people look at it, they can see I’m happy. About the contract situation, I talk with the club. This is for nobody’s ears. It was how I said it would be after the Euros – there would be talks.

“There was a talk between Marina [Granovskaia, a Chelsea director] and my agent.

“We have the situation where we are at now and I have nothing to do with all the speculation. This is not in my mind. I’m focused on what I’m doing because this is why I wake up every morning.”

Chelsea FC are preparing to travel to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

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