Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is reportedly set for positive news on the injury front as influential defensive ace Antonio Rudiger is closing in on a comeback.
Injury troubles have led to the 26-year-old being limited to just one appearance at senior level so far this season, and given the quality and experience that he brings to the team, that will have been a blow for Lampard.
While Chelsea continue to occupy fourth spot as they try to secure a Champions League qualification place this season, they’ve conceded 21 goals in 15 Premier League games thus far, giving them the worst defensive record of the top seven sides.
In turn, while the emergence of Fikayo Tomori has been a positive as Lampard has continued to show faith in his youngsters, they will need to shore things up at the back to compete both domestically and in Europe.
With that in mind, that’s where the Rudiger boost comes into play as the German international could be a key option for Lampard in the weeks and months ahead if he can now steer clear of further setbacks.
As seen in The Athletic writer Simon Johnson’s tweet below, it’s noted that not only is Rudiger back in training and fully fit, the defensive ace could be in line to feature in one of the next three games including the clash with Everton this weekend.
That said, given his lack of playing time so far this season and with Chelsea likely to be cautious to avoid rushing him back only to see him suffer another injury blow, it could be a sensible strategy to perhaps gradually build up his match fitness with the U23s side first before re-integrating him into the senior squad.
Time will tell how Lampard handles it, but the mere fact that Rudiger is said to be closing in on being in contention again will be a welcome boost for all concerned at Stamford Bridge.
Been well documented that Rudiger is back in training at Chelsea, but understand he’s fully fit and available to play now. Just a matter of when Lampard opts to select him. But got impression we should see him in any of the next 3 matches – Everton on Saturday is a possibility.
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) December 5, 2019