“He did the impossible”- Real Madrid star surprised at timing of Tuchel’s sacking at Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger surprised at the timing of Chelsea’s decision to sack Tuchel

Speaking to Sport1 (h/t Evening Standard), former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was surprised at the timing of the club’s decision to sack manager Thomas Tuchel.

After a fairly underwhelming start to the season, Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea on September 7, hours after the defeat to Dinamo Zagreb on the opening night of the Champions League.

With the club not having a sporting director during the summer transfer window, the German played a major role along with co-owner Todd Boehly to sign players as per his style of play and characteristics. Some of the key signings were made on or around the deadline day. Hence, sacking him a week after the deadline day came as a surprise for everyone.

Barcelona confirm the arrival of former Chelsea star Andreas Christensen on a four-year deal.
Antonio Rudiger became one of the best defenders in Europe under Tuchel. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Here’s what Rudiger had to say regarding this decision (h/t Evening Standard):

“First, he was allowed to bring in new players, only to be released after a few games. I was surprised at the speed. The day of his release was a sad one for me. I wrote to him afterwards and thanked him again for everything.

“He was there for everyone, not just me. If you look at where we came from and where he took us, he did the impossible. But you know how it is in football. Sometimes you’re the hero, sometimes the bogeyman.”

Rudiger is currently playing for European Champions Real Madrid, having left Chelsea in the summer following the expiry of his contract. He arrived at Stamford Bridge from AS Roma in 2017, but his game went on another level under the coaching and management of Tuchel.

The defender was one of the key players in the squad during the knockout stages of the 2020/21 Champions League season, a run which ended with him lifting Europe’s biggest club prize.

The German international was arguably one of the top five centre-backs in Europe last season. So, one can understand the sadness he must have felt after reading the news, having had such a good time playing under the manager in the past.

Real Madrid to send doctors for Antonio Rudiger's medical. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Rudiger was Chelsea’s best defender last season. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

Life moves on though. Chelsea appointed Graham Potter a day after relieving Tuchel of his duties. The new era is upon us. They are still searching to fill up the sporting director role though after missing out on Christoph Freund.

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Post the hara-kiri of the summer transfer window when the club struggled to complete deals, it is important that they sign an experienced director who can take care of all football-related operations, including transfers.