Thomas Tuchel knows “life will go on” at Chelsea after Antonio Rudiger and remains confident he can make the Blues competitive regardless of their transfer business this year.
Chelsea’s activity in the upcoming window remains uncertain after the club were sanctioned due to Russian Roman Abramovich’s ownership.
Rudiger has told Chelsea he will be leaving at the end of the season, with the defender one of a group of players out of contract while the Stamford Bridge outfit are unable to offer them new terms.
In a World Cup year, Tuchel is unable to offer any real certainty to his team as they consider their futures.
But the coach is backing himself to continue to deliver results even if Chelsea begin 2022-23 with a very different line-up.
“Yes, it’s my job,” he said ahead of Thursday’s game against Manchester United.
“No matter how the situation will be solved and when it will be solved and how things will be settled and how active we can be in the transfer market, at the end, we will dig in and try to squeeze out everything from the squad we have.
“I know I will again fall in love with the squad I have then and try to push the squad to the limit.
“It was a pleasure every single day with Toni, but I’m a bit concerned we talk too much in the past about it; we have not reached all our goals for this season, so there are still things to achieve.
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) April 17, 2022
“[These are] big things and he is still a big part of this squad, and we demand still 100 per cent of him.
“This is where the focus is. Then, from pre-season next season, life will go on, if we like it or not, if we are happy about it or not. We will give our very best and I will be fully involved with all my heart and all my knowledge.”
This was also perhaps a message for the Chelsea players who will be left behind, with Tuchel acknowledging they were unhappy to learn of Rudiger’s exit.
“I don’t think that anybody likes it, because Toni is a huge factor in our last one and a half seasons together,” he said.
“He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character, an aggressive leader. He is available like 90 per cent of the matches.
“He plays on an outstanding level and gives you confidence if you play next to him. He takes the focus away towards him, he takes responsibility, loves responsibility.
“I don’t think that anybody likes this decision. We have to accept it, and we will accept it.
“Like it or not, there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. For now, for him and for us, the most important thing is that it ends like it started and like it was for the one and a half years, on the highest level possible.”
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