Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger sends message to Frank Lampard ahead of injury return

Posted Thursday, December 12, 2019 by

Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger sends message to Frank Lampard ahead of injury return
Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger has returned from injury (Image: GETTY)

The Chelsea defender is nearing a return to first-team action for the Blues after an injury lay off.

Antonio Rudiger has insisted that he can be the leader of men on the pitch that Frank Lampard has been looking for in his Chelsea team. German international Rudiger finally made his full comeback after a nightmare first five months of the season, where he managed to play just 45 minutes of football.

The 26-year-old recovered from knee surgery in the summer, only to suffer a groin injury on his comeback at Wolves in September when he slipped on a metal plate at the side of the pitch.

But on Tuesday night the centre back was back in action as Chelsea scraped into the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Lille at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard had called for his team to show character and personality after the dismal 3-1 loss at Everton the previous Saturday – and the return of both Rudiger and Jorginho provided that.

But it was still a nervy affair, as despite goals by Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta, a late strike by ex-Chelsea man Loic Remy had the Blues hanging on, knowing a draw would have sent them out.

Rudiger, though, impressed with a commanding display which had the fans singing his name, and he declared he was ready to help youngsters like Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James in the Chelsea back line.

He said: “I see myself as helping the other centre backs.

“I did that in the other years when I played with David Luiz or Gary Cahill. I am always loud on the pitch, especially with the young guys, because you need to help them.

“There will be a period - that is normal because we are all human - that you will fall a bit, performances go down. That is where me especially as the most experienced in the back, need to help those young guys. I'm in for that.

“In my position it is very important to speak, to be loud because I have the whole pitch in front of me. This has always been natural to me. I have always, even when I was young, been commanding.

“For me, it is just a matter of communication. If you don’t speak then things will be a bit difficult. But me and Kurt spoke directly, and the commands were clear. So it was easier for everyone. That’s just the issue of being commanding.”

Rudiger added: “It's been a long time, it's been a while now, but I'm very happy that everything went well and we are in the last 16.

“I had the surgery, and you listen to the doctor and you have to be patient and wait for your time. That's what I did.

“It's good if people want me back. Of course there is a little bit of pressure. It's good in football when you have that, because then you are ready to perform.

“What can Chelsea achieve this year? For me personally, because I have been out for so long, I take it step by step. For me, it is just important to stay healthy.

“We are in the top four and we are five points ahead of the fifth place team. We are in a good position but we need to be aware of performances like Everton and West Ham, when we lost.”

Lampard, whose side face Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday having lost three out of their last four league games, though admitted that he might have to go into the transfer market to solve their scoring problem.

Tammy Abraham has 13 goals, but Chelsea have been missing chances in games that would allow them to kill off teams much more easily.

The Chelsea manager said: “It was quite clear that when you lose Eden Hazard in the summer you lose a huge part of scoring and creating goals.

“If we can get better we’ll always look at that. Business is there to be done in January if it’s right for the club.”



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