Thomas Tuchel is hailed for his defensive tactics at Chelsea, but the German could be faced with a conundrum next summer, making signing another defender crucial to avoid problems
Although Thomas Tuchel is widely praised for his excellent defensive style of play, Chelsea could be on the verge of a crisis at the back with Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger’s current deals expiring next summer.
Chelsea have transformed since Tuchel took over last season and the German manager has as many clean sheets as goals conceded in the Premier League, only allowing 15 goals in 25 games.
Antonio Rudiger has become one of the league’s best defenders since Tuchel was appointed, and Thiago Silva has also starred in a well-orchestrated back line.
However, Tuchel could be faced with a big problem next summer, so must make it a priority to seek cover.
Rudiger has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge as the defender is yet to sign a new deal, and with his contract expiring next summer, the German is free to speak to new clubs from January.
Silva’s deal also expires at the same time, and there has been no talk of a new deal for the 37-year-old veteran just yet, meaning that Chelsea will have arguably their best two first-team defenders potentiality leaving the club come the end of the season.
As Rudiger’s performances have been so great under Tuchel, interest has circled for the German and one club reportedly interested is Bayern Munich
However, the Bundesliga champions have a defender of their own that is running down his deal, and Chelsea could use this to their advantage.
Nicolas Sule is also into the last year of his contract and could be an ideal replacement for Rudiger, with a slightly different edge to his game.
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Rudiger is already tall, but Sule is a mountain at six-foot five, and the Bayern defender is also two years younger than the current Chelsea man, making it a more attractive prospect for the future.
Sule could join other former Bundesliga stars as Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Andreas Christensen all joined Chelsea from the German top flight.
Chelsea certainly don’t want to be losing Rudiger, but it appears inevitable that this will be Silva’s last season so Tuchel should act anyway despite the future of their current German defender.
Sule and Rudiger also play alongside one another for the German national team, so already have chemistry as a defensive pairing, and a move could make Tuchel’s defence even more resilient.
It would be difficult to leave Bayern, and Sule has never played outside of Germany, but at 26 it could be time for a fresh career move if he fancies testing himself in England.
Whether Sule is the answer or not remains to be seen, but someone has to be picked as the solution as Tuchel is running out of time to solve his defensive conundrum.