Chelsea tipped to sign ‘new Raphael Varane’ as Antonio Rudiger replacement

Thomas Tuchel on Antonio Rudiger leaving Chelsea

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Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson has backed his old club to sign Leicester star Wesley Fofana as a replacement for Antonio Rudiger. Johnson believes Fofana, 21, is a younger version of France compatriot and Manchester United star Raphael Varane.

Rudiger is set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season upon the expiry of his contract. The Blues attempted to keep the German but he will leave for nothing and join Real Madrid on a free transfer.

Rudiger has arguably been Chelsea’s best defender this season and one of the best in the Premier League. So the 29-year-old will leave big shoes to fill.

Chelsea are also set to lose Andreas Christensen at the end of his contract, so will need to sign at least one defender. And Johnson believes Varane-like Fofana would be the perfect option.

He told GGRecon: “Yeah, I love him to be honest, I think he’s fantastic. He reminds me of Raphael Varane; quick, good on the ball, strong.

“I think Wesley Fofana would be a very good replacement for Antonio Rudiger at Chelsea. Not long ago he wasn’t even in the France squad, which blew my mind because he was unbelievable. I like him a lot.”

Fofana has made just three Premier League appearances for Leicester this season. He broke his leg in pre-season and did not return to action until March.

Johnson admits it will be difficult to bring in new players, especially when they are not receiving any money for the likes of Rudiger and Christensen. He added: “The problem with him going for free is that there aren’t many players who can walk into the Premier League, into a top team and hit the ground running straight away.

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“He will be hard to replace as that Premier League experience is hard to replace sometimes. I’d like them to replace him with a player who’s already experienced the league.”

Speaking last month, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed no one at the club agrees with Rudiger’s decision to leave. He said: “I don’t think anybody likes it.

“He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character and plays on an outstanding level. He sometimes takes the focus towards him, he loves responsibility.

“Nobody likes this decision but we have to accept it. Like it or not there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. It is also the most important thing for us that it ends like it started, on the highest level.”

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