Ferdinand names Chelsea man as the Prem’s best centre-back

Joe Williams
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea

Rio Ferdinand thinks Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has been the “best centre-back” in the Premier League since Thomas Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge.

The Germany international has started all five of the Blues’ Premier League matches this campaign and scored his first goal of the season in a 3-0 victory over Tottenham at the weekend.

Rudiger has become a favourite since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard last season, with his compatriot guiding Chelsea to Champions League glory and a top-four finish in 2020/21.

Big Midweek: Man Utd v West Ham again, Saul, Nuno, Norwich

And former Manchester United defender Ferdinand reckons Rudiger is now the best centre-back in the Premier League on current form.

Ferdinand told his Vibe with Five YouTube channel: “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. 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 in the process of trying to tie Rudiger down to a new deal with the defender now inside the last 12 months of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

On the situation, Tuchel said: “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,’ he said.

“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.

“I feel him very calm and focused, and it’s not a distraction for him. So everything is in place, and give things the time they need. Sometimes it needs a bit longer, sometimes things are very fast.

“There’s no news from my side, and I think that Toni feels very, very good at Chelsea, he feels very respected by his team-mates and he feels the importance that he has in the team and in the squad.

“That’s well deserved because he delivers, he feels the love from the supporters when he plays. He’s in the strongest league in Europe, in a big club, so not many reasons to change that.”