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Chelsea academy product told to ‘get ready for pre-season’ following Antonio Rudiger decision

Chelsea academy product told to ‘get ready for pre-season’ following Antonio Rudiger decision

Chelsea look set to call upon one of their many academy products to help plug the hole in their defence ahead of 2022/23.

Chelsea are set to lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers this summer, leaving Thomas Tuchel short on options in the centre-back role.

Now though, Goal are reporting that Chelsea have told Dujon Sterling to get ready for pre-season after he returned to Cobham for treatment on a minor ankle injury.

Sterling had been on loan with Blackpool in the Championship where he had impressed, but he has now returned to his parent club.

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How will Sterling be used?

Given Sterling is a right-back, there may be some confusion as to why Chelsea are looking to the 22-year-old to fill the void left by Rudiger and Christensen.

Well, firstly, Sterling is versatile and has spoken about this himself last month:

“It gives managers confidence that they can play me in any position and I can get the job done for the team,” said Sterling, who played alongside the likes of Reece James and Mason Mount when coming through the ranks at Stamford Bridge.

“It also gives my teammates confidence that no matter where I am on the pitch, they can give me the ball and trust me.

“It’s been a good loan and definitely lived up to my expectations.”

Secondly, given Thomas Tuchel plays three at the back, Sterling could be used as a right-sided centre-back like Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James often are.

Or, alternatively, he could be deployed as a right-wing-back to allow James to fill in at RCB.

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This article was edited by Ben Browning.