Antonio Rudiger has been an instrumental part of Chelsea’s backline since he joined the club.
He continues to be an important player in Thomas Tuchel’s side, starting 34 out of 38 league matches this season, the joint-most at the club.
The former Roma centre back will be difficult to replace.
Having been in the top 10% for all Premier League centre backs in progressive passes, goal-creating actions, and carries, as well as being among Chelsea’s top five in his team for tackles and interceptions, clearances, and blocks, the west London club will need to find someone that can contribute both in attack and defence.
Fortunately, though, Tuchel may have a replacement already at the club in Levi Colwill.
The 19-year-old has been on loan at Huddersfield Town, where he made an impressive contribution.
It was the Chelsea Academy product’s first season of professional football, but his performances at the Yorkshire club belie his age.
The £4.5m-rated centre back was top three in the team for tackles, interceptions, and clearances per game. He can be impactful at the other end too, featuring among the top ten for passes and dribbles per match.
His impact on his side during his loan has not been lost on Huddersfield coach, Carlos Corberan, who claimed that the 6 foot 2 youngster will be one of England’s “most important centre-backs”.
“I think he’s going to be one of the most important centre-backs for this country in the future.
“I am seeing a player with a lot of potential and a lot of personality.”
“Colwill is adapting well to senior football and I feel in another year he will have grown even more than he has done right now.”
Chelsea can also look to success they have had from integrating Trevoh Chalobah into the senior side. The 22-year-old’s market value has more than quadrupled since June 2021.
In addition, Colwill’s £5k-per-week salary means that the Blues’ new ownership, led by Todd Boehly, will be saving over £5m a year by trusting him and not replacing Rudiger. The teenager has already shown that he deserves that trust.