Chelsea MVP Rudiger shows why he deserves pay rise with Carabao Cup winner at Spurs



Posted Thursday, January 13, 2022 by Goal.com

Chelsea MVP Rudiger shows why he deserves pay rise with Carabao Cup winner at Spurs

The Germany international, who is out of contract this summer, scored the only goal of the game as the Blues booked their place at Wembley

Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea: Match Statistics

It's incredible how quickly things can turn around for a footballer.

A year ago, Tottenham were one of a host of clubs looking to sign Antonio Rudiger after the Chelsea defender had fallen out of favour with then-manager Frank Lampard.

Now, the German is Thomas Tuchel's "aggressive leader", the star performer in the Blues' backline.

Rudiger is also a threat at the other end of the pitch, of course, as he proved once again on Wednesday night, netting the only goal of the game as Chelsea booked their place in the Carabao Cup final with a 1-0 victory at Tottenham that sealed a 3-0 aggregate success.

However, a joyous night for the travelling fans was also tinged with anxiety. After all, there's every chance that their match-winner could quit the club at the end of the season.

As it stands, Rudiger will be a free agent when his current Chelsea deal expires at the end of the season, meaning he is presently free to sign a pre-contract agreement with other clubs.

What's even more worrying is that he's not short of suitors among Europe's elite.

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are particularly keen on Rudiger and have already made contact with his representatives to discuss a summer switch.

How has it come to this? Why are Chelsea in danger of losing arguably their best player this season?

Well, essentially it comes down to the fact that the Blues played hardball over Rudiger's wage demands, refusing to put him among the club's top earners.

For example, Timo Werner is presently on more than double Rudiger's estimated £100,000-a-week contract.

It's hardly surprising, then, that the 28-year-old is seeking a significant pay rise given his next deal is likely to be his last big one.

He'll certainly feel he's done enough to earn a salary increase, given he's enjoying the best form of his career, as he admitted himself after the win in north London.

Tuchel obviously needs no convincing of Rudiger's importance to his team and has made a personal plea for the former Roma man to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.

The situation remains unresolved but the uncertainty surrounding his future clearly hasn't affected his form.

"I don't feel Toni needs a lot of words, coffee talks or invitations for dinners or whatever. He is a top professional," Tuchel said last week.

"I trust the club 100 per cent, trust in the player and it is not a problematic situation for me. He is super reliable."

Indeed, Rudiger has racked up 2,550 minutes across 28 games this season, meaning he has seen more game time than any other Chelsea player in 2021-22.

His value to the Blues cause cannot be overstated, then. Losing him for nothing would be a massive blow, given replacing him would prove incredibly expensive, given the likes of Leicester's Wesley Fofana and Sevilla's Jules Kounde would both cost more than £50m ($69m).

The hope, therefore, is that director Marina Granovskaia and, to a lesser extent, owner Roman Abramovich, realise how costly an error it would be to let Rudiger leave this summer.

As he proved again against Spurs, Rudiger is Chelsea's most valuable player right now.



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