Rio Ferdinand believes Antonio Rudiger has been the best defender in the Premier League since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival as Chelsea manager.
Rudiger has become a central figure since the appointment of compatriot Tuchel as head coach in January, with Chelsea having compiled an incredible defensive record under the German’s management.
The west London side’s 3-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday made it 15 clean sheets in the Premier League under Tuchel, more than the number of goals (14) the club have conceded during that time.
Ferdinand believes Rudiger has been arguably the division’s best defender in recent months, with the Germany international returning to favour following a spell on the sidelines under former manager Frank Lampard.
“Since Tuchel has come I think he’s arguably been the best centre-back,” Ferdinand told his Youtube channel.
“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. There was rumours there were trying to put him in the market to be sold.
“In Germany, he’s always been highly thought of. But when the manager doesn’t rate you and you can feel that, I don’t care who you are your confidence takes a beating and it’s hard to perform at that level.”
Chelsea are currently working on a new deal for Rudiger with the centre-back’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, with both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid having been credited with an interest in the 28-year-old.