Frank Lampard would be making a “mistake” if he lets Antonio Rudiger leave Chelsea before the transfer window closes, according to Don Hutchinson.
The German international is yet to feature in any of Chelsea’s three matchday squads so far this season.
Speaking after Chelsea beat Barnsley 6-0 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, Lampard hinted that Rudiger could be moved on.
He said: “With the centre-halves I can’t have them all in the squad. I keep getting asked about the size of the squad.
“There might be movement, we know that, but nothing is concrete so don’t read too much into those selections at the minute.
“It will have to be things which are right for the club and individuals and me and in terms of what happens in the next couple of weeks.”
Chelsea have struggled defensively under Frank Lampard and have brought in experienced Brazilian Thiago Silva to add some quality to the backline.
But Hutchinson believes Rudiger remains the best defender at Stamford Bridge and should be kept and used by Lampard.
“Personally I think it’s a mistake as I think he’s Chelsea’s best defender,” he told ESPN.
“But the only thing is, looking at his injury record he’s had three operations on his knees in the last four years, one was an ACL.
“So you don’t know behind the scenes, even though age is with him, he’s only 27 and is bang in his prime, Frank and the medical staff will know how durable he is.
“When I look at Chelsea and I look at all the players they’ve got like Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, [Fikayo] Tomori, Thiago Silva, when I look at them I think their best defender is Antonio Rudiger.
“He’s reliable every single week, but for some reason [he’s not wanted], maybe it’s a personal problem and he’s got too much of a voice in the dressing room, or it’s that he’s been playing with these injuries.”