Germany international centre-back Antonio Rudiger was the hero for Real Madrid last night, bagging a 78th-minute goal in their 1-0 victory over Real Mallorca to send his side top of La Liga, and Mesut Ozil was quick to remind Chelsea what they are missing.
The 30-year-old left the Blues at the end of the 2021-22 campaign after his deal expired and joined Madrid afterwards as a free agent.
While Chelsea have struggled since Rudiger left, the La Liga giants have been strengthened defensively as a result of signing the former AS Roma star.
He has since helped them land the Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, and they are hoping to pip Girona, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona to the league title this term.
Mallorca proved difficult to break down last night, but Rudiger stepped up to help Madrid secure all three points, and Ozil took to social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to shower praise on his former international teammate and poke fun at Chelsea.
Prime Toni Rüdiger is just the world's best defender at the moment 🔥 Incredible season for my former club Real Madrid. You can also ask Haaland or Osimhen how good he is! Look what has happened with Chelsea after he left … they are missing his mentality every day … 👊🏼 https://t.co/izFYchdWEI
— Mesut Özil (@M10) January 3, 2024
The Stamford Bridge club brought in the likes of Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile to bolster their options at centre-back after Rudiger left, but the duo have failed to impress, and the Blues are now looking to pip Manchester United and Liverpool to the services of Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva ahead of the summer transfer window.
Chelsea are preparing for life without Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva, who turns 40 in September and is expected to leave when his contract ends at the end of the current campaign.
They did not do enough to hold on to Rudiger and may need to break the bank in their bid to bring in a solid centre-back, with Benfica demanding £87 million for Silva having rejected their £52m proposal and Armando Broja as a makeweight.
- Paul Merson predicts who will secure Champions League football – Tottenham or Aston Villa
- Chris Sutton predicts score of Everton clash v West Ham
- Predicted Everton starting line-up v West Ham
- FA Cup quarter-final predictions – Manchester City and Liverpool favourites ahead of United
- David Prutton predicts outcome of Huddersfield v Leeds United