Frank Lampard sent message over his handling of Antonio Rudiger transfer saga at Chelsea

Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has backed Frank Lampard for his handling of the Antonio Rudiger saga this summer.

Rudiger returned to the starting line-up for the first time this season as Chelsea faced Krasnodar in the Champions League, with the German coming into the side to replace summer signing Thiago Silva, who did not travel to Russia.

Prior to the transfer window closing, Rudiger was heavily linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge, with Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, Andreas Christensen and Silva all ahead of him in the pecking order.

But despite being linked with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, Rudiger remained at Stamford Bridge. Now, he is back in the first team fold.

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And former Blues ace Cole has praised Lampard for the way he has handled the whole situation concerning Rudiger.

“I think it’s been spot-on,” Cole told BT Sport. “Rudiger’s been a good player for Chelsea, he’s a leader, he’s a big player in Germany, he’s a big character in the dressing room.

“Thiago Silva has come in and I think Frank has plugged the gap. He’s recognised the team conceded too many goals last year.

“The goalkeeper, Kepa [Arrizabalaga], hasn’t settled, so he’s addressed that situation by bringing in [Edouard] Mendy.

“He’s also brought in Thiago Silva, if you’d have said last season, what do Chelsea need? They need an experienced centre-half, who can talk and dominate and he’s done that.

“I agree with JJ [Jermaine Jenas], 100 per cent, it’s not that Chelsea have gone down a boring route at all – they’ve addressed what needed to be done.

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