Antonio Rudiger was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the 2-0 home defeat against Liverpool yesterday.

The £34 million (Guardian) man’s absence was explained – in part – by Frank Lampard, speaking to West London Sport after the game.

“Now we have five centre-halves at the club. I can’t pick three of them on the bench. I have to pick the squad by training, situations and opponents and that was the selection today,” said Lampard.

“He did really well, Tomori, I have to say. He hasn’t played for a while and is striving for fitness. I was delighted with him. I hope he feels the trust. I’ve got confidence in him.”


As Lampard said there, he now has five central defenders at Stamford Bridge and perhaps yesterday’s selection indicates Rudiger is fifth choice right now.

The Telegraph report that Chelsea will speak with Rudiger’s representatives to sound out his next move in the wake of the snub.

Of course, Thiago Silva’s battle to get fit and Andreas Christensen’s suspension may offer Rudiger a spot on the bench next time out.

The Blues also host Barnsley on Wednesday night and Rudiger may well play there if Lampard shuffles his pack.

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Younger players such as Christensen, Tomori and Kurt Zouma may accept being rotated around and learning from Silva this season.

But at 27, Rudiger will likely want to play regularly especially with Euro 2021 on the horizon.

It’s clear from the signing of Silva and the way Lampard has started the season that he doesn’t completely trust Rudiger to be his defensive lynchpin.

How that situation plays out remains to be seen.

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