Tammy Abraham has dismissed rumours that Antonio Rudiger has caused rifts behind the scenes at Chelsea as "complete nonsense" after Frank Lampard's sacking, insisting the defender "is a big bro to all of us".
Lampard was relieved of his managerial duties at Stamford Bridge on Monday after 18 months at the helm, with a club legend paying the ultimate price for the team's disastrous form in the Premier League.
The board decided to act in the wake of a 2-0 defeat at Leicester City which saw the Blues fall 11 points behind leaders Manchester United in this season's title race.
Ex-Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has been drafted in for Lampard, who has not been given the chance to see a long-term project through to its conclusion after being handed a £200 million ($275m) war chest in the summer transfer window.
The 42-year-old brought in the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva to try and take Chelsea to the next level, while dropping several members of the squad that had been regulars in his debut season.
Rudiger was one of those who saw his playing time restricted, and it has been reported that the Germany international was a disruptive influence behind the scenes throughout the final months of Lampard's tenure.
Claims that the centre-back clashed with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta surfaced in the wake of the manager's departure, but Abraham has jumped to the defence of his team-mate on social media.
The Blues striker wrote on Twitter: "Hearing some mad stuff about Antonio Rudier on social media today. Complete nonsense. Toni is a big bro to all of us."
Hearing some mad stuff about @ToniRuediger on social media today. Compete nonsense. Toni is a big bro to all of us— Tammy Abraham (@tammyabraham) January 26, 2021
Didier Drogba, who enjoyed two successful spells at the Bridge, responded to Abraham with words of praise while highlighting the importance of using outside negativity as fuel to create a greater collective bond.
"Well said Son, THIS IS THE WAYYY!!! Stick together, get results and the fans will forgive you everything," the Chelsea great tweeted.
"Critics hurt but when you are together it makes you stronger and better."
Abraham and Rudiger will both be in contention for a place in Tuchel's line-up when he takes charge of his first game as Blues head coach against Wolves on Wednesday night.
Chelsea are in desperate need of three points after losing five of their last eight top-flight fixtures, but a 3-1 victory against Luton Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup last weekend served as a timely confidence boost for the squad.