The defender’s impending exit brings to a close a fruitful spell at Stamford Bridge, and his coach says that he will be sad to see him go

Thomas Tuchel believes nobody likes Antonio Rudiger’s choice to leave Chelsea this summer, but says he and the rest of his squad will respect the Germany international’s decision to leave.

The centre-back’s contract expires at the close of the campaign and, amid complications presented over the club’s impending change of ownership, he has announced he will depart.

The news is something of a blow to the Blues, who could see several key faces leave during the offseason – and now the manager has commented on what the call has left him feeling.

What has Tuchel said on Rudiger’s situation?

“I don’t think anybody likes it,” Tuchel stated ahead of his side’s clash with Manchester United. “Toni has [been] a huge factor in our last one-and-a-half seasons together. He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room, he is a unique character.

“He’s an aggressive leader, he plays on an outstanding level, and he gives you confidence if you play next to him, if you play around him. Sometimes, he takes the focus away from others, onto him; he takes responsibility, he loves responsibility.

“So I don’t think anybody likes this decision. But at the moment, we have to accept it and we will accept it. Like it or not, there will be life at Chelsea after Toni, and now the most important thing is that it ends like it started, on the highest level possible.”

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