Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is prepared to turn to centre-back Antonio Rudiger once more after the pair met for constructive face-to-face talks at the weekend.
The German is yet to play any football this season and has been part of the matchday squad just three times in all competitions, including in Chelsea’s last two fixtures against Sevilla and Manchester United.
He appears to have fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, with Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen all ahead of him in Lampard’s estimations, which prompted intense rumours of a move away in the summer.
After such an exit failed to materialise, Rudiger has kept his head down and continued to train well, and according to The Telegraph, Lampard has been impressed with the German’s professionalism and work rate.
The pair met for crunch talks over the weekend and Rudiger was left feeling optimistic about his chances of returning to the first team at some point in the near future.
The Daily Mail go a step further and suggest that a regular role in the squad looks likely, with Lampard prepared to call on the 27-year-old once again.
There is no indication as to when Rudiger may feature, but Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Krasnodar is seen as a potential opportunity as Lampard will be looking to make some changes to his starting XI.
It is the kind of game in which 36-year-old Silva can afford to be rested, while Zouma has also played a lot of minutes recently and perhaps could benefit from a breather.
Christensen and Tomori will both be chomping at the bit for a chance to play. The former’s last two appearances ended in 3-3 draws with West Brom and Southampton and will be desperate to put things right, while Tomori has featured just three times in all competitions.
Keeping all his centre-backs happy is something which Lampard has previously confessed is not an easy challenge, so it is expected that he will give a rest to at least one of his preferred pairing on Wednesday.