Antonio Rudiger’s decision on Chelsea contract is a damning indictment of Marina Granovskaia’s politics – Daniel Childs

There has always been an excuse as to why Chelsea’s defensive contract crisis has unfolded this season.

Either way, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger showed levels of form after Thomas Tuchel’s appointment that they didn’t have before. The fact that both rejected offers from the club, in Rudiger’s case – the latter worth £230,000 a week according to The Athletic.

That they’ve been turned upside down, the sanctions that have halted all transfer transactions over the past month. The 2021 sales of Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi, two younger options, were sold due to other circumstances beyond the club’s control. These are all childish excuses, continually begging us to believe that a club of Chelsea’s wealth and excellence could not foresee the unfolding of this defensive crisis. And if they couldn’t, why not?

READ MORE: Chelsea news and transfers LIVE: Rice rejects contract, Ancelotti’s Rudiger request, hint from Kounde

Rudiger deciding to leave isn’t the most shocking revelation. If you had gauged the mood of the first games of this season when the defender was unwilling to come to the negotiating table, waiting to see who else in Europe would show up. Due to his importance to Tuchel and his largely boosted reputation, power was always on his side.

Cesar Azpilicueta, despite triggering a clause on his current contract to stay another 12 months, could still be sold this summer. But given his peer’s decision to leave, one would suspect that Azpilicueta will be tightly held under a new owner.

The real frustration is longer-range; a wider issue that feels like it’s finally caught up with Chelsea just as Roman Abramovich exits. The constant short-term mentality which, for all its extravagant advantages, has created an uneven and slightly confused team compiled under very different coaching minds over the last decade. One that Tuchel has done an extraordinary job of making him one of the best in Europe.

In the case of contracts, if you look beyond this season, midfield is the next concern with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho entering the final year of their contracts. You can make all the excuses about how changes in the dugout, improvements in form and coaching preferences have changed things, but that’s why a competent long-term transfer strategy is needed to mitigate situations. like this one.

You are unlikely to see situations of this magnitude unfold at Manchester City or Liverpool. Two clubs the Blues aim to compete with, and both have more refined and clearer transfer structures which have proven to be more effective.

Chelsea permanently switched from a six-week cycle to a six-week cycle. Last summer, when those of us raised the possibility of selling both Guehi and Tomori with senior defenders entering their final year, we were told they were never good enough or the club had no choice. Now you see a complete reversal of that on social media. With criticism from Marina Granovskaia much stronger as the reality of Chelsea’s defensive problems are laid bare.

Granovskaia should be discussed with nuance. She didn’t become one of gaming’s most respected female directors by chance, some of her work in the market has been brilliant. Fees of £60m recovered for defaulting Alvaro Morata and nearly £100m for Eden Hazard were key to spurring significant spending in 2020. Negotiating fees for Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell the following summer seems to be a bargain in key positions.

But its weaknesses in prioritizing short-term profits and holding back depreciated assets had their downsides. There is also a wider misconception about the Russian-Canadian’s real role in Chelsea’s transfer deals. Granovskaia is no scout, she has never sought to identify the next tricky winger in the Bundesliga. Critics on this front should more accurately fall at the feet of Scott McLachlan, head of international recruitment at Chelsea since the 2011/12 season.

But a director like Granovskaia should have foreseen the threat. And that basically shows what needs to change in the coming months as we enter a new era of ownership. The club needs to act more effectively and ruthlessly on shrinking contracts. In the case of Kante and Jorginho, you decide to either commit to them or sell them. As brutal as it may seem, the Blues cannot be left in this situation any longer.

The shining lights of Cobham from Trevoh Chalobah and Levi Colwill will provide two instant insurance policies in this situation. Also symbolizing again why the academy donation continues to prove such a boon by offering in-house solutions on an annual basis.

Losing Rudiger is huge. His character was massive for Tuchel and we cannot judge the impact of this failure to secure the German on the relationship between the coach and the hierarchy of the club.

About Patricia Kilgore

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