Chelsea star thanks Tuchel for giving him ‘new life’

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea head coach Tuchel

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has thanked Thomas Tuchel for helping to give him “new life” since he took over earlier this year.

The German international made the move to Chelsea ahead of the 2017/18 season. He joined them from Roma for around £29m.

Rudiger quickly established himself as a key player for the Blues, but he had a difficult spell during Frank Lampard’s tenure.

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The centre-back fell down the pecking order but he is back in favour under Tuchel. He started in last season’s Champions League final and he has been an ever-present so far this term.

Rudiger has already played twelve times across all competitions as Chelsea sit top of the Premier League.

He has told the Guardian that Tuchel has given him “new life” at Stamford Bridge:

“Tuchel gave me new life.

“One hundred per cent (I had something to prove). The manager got fired and there were a lot of people… I don’t know what they tried, but it didn’t work.”

Chelsea travel to face Newcastle United on Saturday. Ahead of that game, Tuchel revealed that he will be without four players for that game:

“Better news than ahead of Southampton. Timo and Romelu are still out. Pulisic joined training but still too early. Everybody else is available. Cesar [Azpilicueta], N’Golo [Kante] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] are all training,” said Tuchel.

“It is realistic that their target is after the international break. For Pulisic we are looking at the Burnley match. If everything goes alright he will be ready to play.”

On Mateo Kovacic, he added: “You have just reminded me, he suffered a hamstring injury in training and will be out for some weeks.

“He is a fantastic team player, I was a huge fan of him at Real Madrid. I remember him at Clasicos, I saw such big potential in him. He has such a passion for training, it is a joy to be his coach. We want to simplify his game a little bit and not look for a third or fourth solution as he already has a first and second.”