- Antonio Rudiger has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers so far this year
- Thomas Tuchel named centre-back one of the first names on his team-sheet
- Rio Ferdinand says Rudiger is currently the Premier League’s best centre-back
- He praised the German defender for bouncing back after the departure of Frank Lampard
Rio Ferdinand believes Antonio Rudiger is the new best centre-back in the Premier League, above Ruben Dies and Virgil van Dijk.
The former Manchester United defender has been quite impressed with Rudiger’s performance since Thomas Tuchel took over earlier this year.
The German centre-back faced an uncertain future at the club when Frank Lampard was manager and Ferdinand admitted that his confidence would have ‘taken a beat’.
Antonio Rudiger is in good form and scored in Chelsea’s win over Tottenham over the weekend
Rio Ferdinand believes Rudiger has outperformed the likes of Ruben Dies (left) and Virgil van Dijk (right) as Thomas Tuchel takes charge of Chelsea
But Rudiger has made a comeback and has become an influential figure for Chelsea over the past nine months and scored in their 3-0 round of London rivals Tottenham over the weekend.
Ferdinand was engrossed in his admiration for the Chelsea man after that win and said of himself Youtube channel: ‘Since Tuchel has come, I think he has been arguably the best centre-back. I think he and Dias would have been close, but his influence on his team has been huge.
‘Under Frank’ [Lampard]Of course, it was clear that wasn’t Frank’s cup of tea. He really didn’t like her. There were rumors that they were trying to market him to sell.
‘In Germany, they have always been thought of. But when the manager doesn’t rate you and you can feel that, I don’t care who you are. Your confidence breaks down and it’s hard to perform at that level.’
Rudiger, who is now one of the first names in the Chelsea team-sheet, however, finds himself in a difficult position with only one year remaining on his contract and no agreement to extend it.
Rudiger has become a hugely influential figure at Chelsea over the past nine months
Ferdinand has been impressed by the German centre-back and says he is ‘extremely’
Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are already making the rounds in anticipation of signing a free transfer at the end of the season but are desperate to tie the Tuchel defender to a new long-term deal before talks with foreign clubs in January .
“I hope they find a solution, but it’s not just between the coaches and the players, and that’s what we want and that’s why it’s between the club, the players and the agent,” the Chelsea boss said.
‘We hope they find a solution and from what I can tell, he plays excellent, and has been very consistent at a very high level over a long period of time.
‘I find her feeling very calm and focused, and it’s not a distraction for her. So everything is in place, and give things the time they need. Sometimes it takes a little longer, sometimes things go a lot faster.
‘There’s no news from my side, and I think Tony feels great at Chelsea, he feels very respected by his teammates and he feels that he is valued in the team and the team.
‘It’s well deserved because he saves, feels the love from supporters when he plays. He is in the strongest league in Europe, in a big club, so there is not much reason to change it.’
Rudiger fell down the pecking order when Frank Lampard was boss, but bounced back
Tuchel has made it clear he is desperate for Rudiger to sign a new contract with Chelsea