Chelsea given fresh look at ready-made Antonio Rudiger replacement in Juventus defeat

Tuchel gives verdict on Chelsea's defeat to Man City

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Chelsea were handed a fresh look at who they should look to target if Antonio Rudiger leaves Stamford Bridge in their 1-0 defeat to Juventus. The Blues failed to score for the second game in succession and had just one shot on target.

One of the biggest thorns in the side of their attempts to attack was Juve centre-back Matthijs De Ligt.

The young Dutchman lined up alongside Leonardo Bonnucci at the heart of the Old Lady’s defence for the visit of the Blues.

And he put in a sterling performance at the Allianz Stadium, to showcase exactly why Juventus paid £67million for his services two years ago.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had returned to his 3-4-2-1 formation, with Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz named in attack.

But up against that high-powered group, De Ligt put in a commanding display to help Max Allegri’s side to keep a clean sheet.

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The 22-year-old won all four of his defensive duels, was successful with 100 per cent of his tackles and made six clearances in total.

In Lukaku, he was marking a player who has scored four goals in six games this season, but that did not seem to faze the young defender.

He successfully kept the Belgian star quiet, limiting the striker to just a single shot on target in Turin, with Lukaku also losing six of his eight duels.

Though he saw his side lose thanks to Federico Chiesa’s well-taken goal 11 seconds into the second-half, Tuchel was handed a long-term positive with De Ligt’s performance.

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That is because there is an ever-increasingly likelihood that Antonio Rudiger will leave the club at the end of his contract in the summer.

Rudiger has been a key player since Tuchel took charge, being a stalwart in the back three that the German deploys.

His importance to the team was highlighted by Rio Ferdinand, who stated that Rudiger played a crucial role in Chelsea’s Champions League title win last season.

“Since Tuchel’s come, I think he’s been the most commanding centre-back in the league. He’s been phenomenal,” Ferdinand told BT Sport ahead of the game.

“One of the main reasons for them going and winning the Champions League last season was because of him. Without him, I don’t think they’d have done it.”

If Chelsea are indeed unable to tie the German defender down to a new deal, they will almost certainly need to sign a replacement.

Thought to be high up their list of targets is De Ligt, who has endured a mixed relationship with Allegri.

The Dutchman will have given himself a major boost in the minds of the Blues’ recruitment team with his outstanding performance on Wednesday night.
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