Chelsea had so many defensive issues last season that it was easy to point the finger of blame in multiple directions, but Antonio Rudiger wasn’t even close to being the biggest culprit.
Despite that, the German has found himself out of the team this season after several defensive signings, so you did wonder if his time at Stamford Bridge was over.
He’s an experienced player who would improve the defence of a lot of big clubs, so it’s not a surprise to hear that he had options to leave, but he’s turned them down to stay and fight for his place.
From a fan’s point of view this is the best attitude that a player can have, so you have to think Rudiger is going to do everything he can to force his way back into the team.
He’s got the potential to form a solid partnership with Thiago Silva and it’s easy to forget that the entire defensive effort was undermined last year by a shambolic goalkeeping situation, so Edouard Mendy could make a big difference – even if he’s merely competent.
Things may change in January if he’s still out of the team and his international place is under threat, but it will be interesting to see how he plays if he’s given another chance to establish himself in the team.