Soccer

Rio Ferdinand says Antonio Rudiger is now the ‘best center-back in the Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on July 14, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins / Contributor

Rio Ferdinand believes that Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has established himself as the best center back in the Premier League. Antonio Conte brought the 28-year-old to the club in 2017. And after struggling under Frank Lampard’s management, he appears to have rediscovered his best form.

Rudiger has become one of the first names on the team sheet under Thomas Tuchel, who took charge in January and played a crucial role in Chelsea’s march to the Uefa Champions League in 2020/21.

Manchester United legend Ferdinand has been incredibly impressed with Rudiger’s performances since Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge. He now places the German ahead of Manchester City’s Ruben Dias and Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk.

“Since Tuchel has come I think he’s arguably been the best centre-back. I think him and Dias would have been close but the effect he has had on his team has been immense. Under Frank [Lampard], it was evident he wasn’t Frank’s cup of tea. He didn’t really like him. In Germany, he’s always been highly thought of.”

Rio Ferdinand

In the past nine months, the German international has bounced back and become an influential member of the Chelsea team, scoring in Chelsea’s 3-0 rout of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. However, Rudiger is in the final year of his contract. And he is yet to agree to an extension with the club. His manager is keen to tie his star center-back down to a new deal before he can talk to foreign clubs in January.

“I hope that they find solutions, but it’s not only between coaches and players, and what we wish for and that’s why it’s between the club, the players and the agent at the moment. We hope that they find the solution and everything. I can say, he plays excellent, and since a long time very consistent, on a very high level.”

Thomas Tuchel

Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain are two clubs looking to sign Rudiger on a free transfer next summer. Although it appears both Chelsea and the player are keen to continue working together.

Antonio Rudiger has everything you want in a modern-day center-back, pace, size & athleticism. At 28, there is no reason why he can’t go on and become a Chelsea & Premier League legend. Although, if this is to be his final season at the club. He will play a crucial role in what Chelsea expects to be a title-winning campaign.

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