Ashley Cole urges Chelsea FC not to let 'brilliant' Antonio Rudiger leave
Ashley Cole urges Chelsea FC to do what they can to keep Antonio Rudiger at the south west London club
Ashley Cole has warned Chelsea FC not to let Antonio Rudiger leave the club this year following his “brilliant” performances for the Blues.
The German defender’s future has been a constant talking point over the last few months after he entered into the final six months of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
As things stand, Rudiger could leave Chelsea FC on a free transfer in the summer and he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club this month.
The 28-year-old has excelled in the heart of Chelsea FC’s defence under Thomas Tuchel this season, and he has netted two goals in 20 Premier League games for the south west London side.
Rudiger produced another solid display on Wednesday night when he netted the winner in Chelsea FC’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur to help the Blues book their spot in the League Cup final.
Former Chelsea FC star Cole lined up with Rudiger during their time at Italian side AS Roma, and the ex-England defender believes that the Blues should be doing all they can to keep him at the club.
Speaking to Sky Sports, as quoted by Metro, on Wednesday night, Cole said: “I played with him at Roma. Great personality, great attitude in training, always pushing to want to be the best.
“He’s been integral in this Chelsea team in the way they play. He’s aggressive, not letting players come off him and go into little pockets that normally centre-backs don’t like to go in. He’s aggressive, he keeps Chelsea on front foot.
“I hope he stays because I think he’s been brilliant, especially for the younger players. The younger players always come back to us and always mention how good he is with the. You need to keep players like him in and around the dressing room.”
Blues boss Tuchel has always been clear in his desire to keep Rudiger at the club beyond the summer and he reiterated this stance when asked about the defender’s situation at the beginning of the month.
“I cannot predict the future and I don’t know if his representatives are talking to other clubs or not,” Tuchel said earlier in January.
“Of course, it is possible they are right now [talking to other clubs] as it is January and he hasn’t signed a new contract with us yet but we are in communication with him, the club is in dialogue with his people.
“Toni is very aware of what I demand from him and how much I appreciate him. The level on which he is playing is outstanding. The point on Toni from my side is very clear, my opinion is clear and the club is trying their very best with him.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea FC will take on leaders Manchester City in a crunch Premier League showdown at The Etihad on Saturday lunchtime.