Kounde, Gvardiol or Chalobah? How Tuchel’s Chelsea will hope to replace Rüdiger next season

By FPL360


Chelsea move for Kounde? 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he will be sad to see Antonio Rüdiger leave the club but knows that it will be his job to replace the defender in one form or another next season. 

Rüdiger made the move to Chelsea in 2017 from Roma in a deal worth a reported £31.5 million and despite initially failing to nail down a starting role under Frank Lampard, the Germany international became a key member of Tuchel’s squad last season. So much so that Rüdiger proved crucial to the team as they went on to win the Champions League last season. 

However, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, the player has now confirmed to the Stamford Bridge side that he intends to leave for free to join a new club ahead of next season. 

And while Tuchel is sad to see Rüdiger go, he remains confident that Chelsea will replace the player either with the players already at the club or with a new signing. 

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“In the end, it is my job. No matter how the situation will be solved and when it will be solved,” said Tuchel in a press conference on Wednesday. “No matter how active we can be in the transfer market, can we react in which frame? At the end, we will dig in and try to squeeze out everything from our squad.”

He added: “There are still things we have not reached all of our goals this season. There are big things to achieve, and he is still a big part of this club. We still demand 100% from him.”

So do Chelsea already have the players to replace Rüdiger at the club next season or will they have to make a big signing in the summer? 

Chelsea’s in-house options 

Although Chelsea are set to lose Rüdiger, Tuchel’s squad is by no means short of options in the central defender position. As things currently stand, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, Trevoh Chalobah and Andreas Christensen will all be at the club next season. 

Although Christensen has not yet signed a contract extension, he is expected to commit his future to the club. Tuchel has also used Cesar Azpilicueta as a central defender from time to time this season too. 

However, unless Tuchel is planning on promoting some youth players, the club may be forced to look elsewhere for defensive options. 

Potential summer targets 

According to Chelsea’s rumoured arrivals page, the club are interested in no less than four central defenders that could prove to be ideal Rüdiger replacements. 

The first is none other thanFenerbahce central defender Attila Szalai, who has become a key player at the Turkish giants having featured in just about every game unless he’s been injured or suspended. The 24-year-old defender is currently worth £12.15m and would undoubtedly be the cheapest option for the English club this summer. 

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The next option is a name Chelsea fans will be well aware of in Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. Linked with moves to Manchester United and their Stamford Bridge rivals for at least a year now, the French talent is worth an impressive £54m and would likely cost even more in the summer. 

Beyond the cheapest and most expensive options, two other names that have popped up in recent weeks are Villarreal central defender Pau Torres and Josko Gvardiol of RB Leipzig. However, both players are extremely well regarded in European football and could end up costing a huge amount of money too.  




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