Antonio Rudiger is in the last year of his Chelsea contract, and most have accepted it’s likely he will leave at the end of the season.
That will be a huge blow on many levels. He’s a dynamic and popular figure in the dressing room, and really brings a lot of energy and passion to an otherwise quite quiet and measure squad.
He’s also an all action, full blooded defender, which always gets the fans going – and suits this formation perfectly.
But his influence on the ball can’t be underestimated either. According to FBRef’s “progressive passing ” stat, he’s moved the ball forward more than any other player in the squad this season.
His completion percentage is 89.7%, fifth highest on the team, so these aren’t aimless lumps forward.
If Rudiger goes, it will fall to Andreas Christensen, already a capable passer, to step up and start playing those longer, riskier passes.