Antonio Rudiger says he remains committed to Chelsea despite being left ‘shocked’ by his omission from the side under Frank Lampard earlier this season.
Rudiger was linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge last summer after falling out of favour under Lampard, the defender a reported target for both Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham after finding himself sidelined under the former Blues boss.
The Germany international has since fought his way back into the side and has been a key figure under Thomas Tuchel, who arrived as Chelsea‘s new head coach in January following Lampard’s dismissal.
Rudiger has now opened up on his struggle for opportunities earlier in the campaign and admits he was ‘shocked’ to have been omitted from the matchday squads under Lampard, though insists he was never urged to leave the club despite interest in his services last summer.
“I was obviously shocked,” Rudiger told a pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid this evening.
“Some things I saw coming. Not being in the squad at all was not something I saw coming. But I took it on the chin. There were two teams – but mainly one team I was considering. PSG and there was a call also with Mourinho but this is something that didn’t happen.
“I was a bit upset because I knew I would not be playing that often. But then I had talks with Lampard and all of sudden I was back on the bench and then I had a couple of games. I just worked my way back. I played the last games of his reign and now things are going well.
“I’m very happy about it, but to be honest I always felt well in the club. They treated me nice, especially the board. No one told me you should leave, neither did Frank Lampard. The loans didn’t happen. But nobody told me I should leave.”
Despite his return to prominence, Rudiger’s future remains uncertain with the centre-back set to enter the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the current campaign.
Reports this week suggested that Chelsea were keen to discuss an extension to his deal, and the defender has reiterated his happiness with life at the club ahead of expected negotiations.
“It’s down to people who make these types of decisions, but at the moment for me it’s to concentrate on important matches,” the 28-year-old said. “I’m sure we will resolve it.
“When things didn’t go my way I was always calm. I can’t give myself a contract, I have to wait to see what happens. But I love it here. Chelsea will always be my priority.”
Read Also – Five of the best Spaniards to play for Chelsea