Antonio Conte told Chelsea summer signing looks better at centre-half

Garth Crooks believes Chelsea summer signing Antonio Rudiger looks most comfortable playing as a centre-half

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger Photo: Antonio Rudiger / Instagram

Garth Crooks has urged Antonio Conte to use Chelsea summer signing Antonio Rudiger as part of a back three.

The defending Premier League champions signed the Germany international in a £34m deal from Serie A giants AS Roma in the summer transfer window.

Rudiger has been used as a full-back in his opening months of the Premier League season but the 24-year-old has struggled at right-back.

However, the German defender started alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz as part of a back three at Bournemouth at the weekend.

And Rudiger helped Chelsea to keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Eddie Howe’s men at the Vitalty Stadium.

Former Spurs forward Crooks believes Rudiger’s best position is at centre-half as part of Conte’s back three in a 3-4-3 formation.

“I’ve seen this lad play full-back for Chelsea and look a little unsure of himself,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Against Bournemouth, on the left of a defensive three, he looked magnificent.

“He has great pace and looks an athlete but what I liked about his performance against the Cherries was how economical he was on the ball.”

Chelsea have won the Premier League title in two of the past three seasons under Jose Mourinho and then Conte.

The Italian coach sold Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma in the summer to leave Chelsea requiring a new centre-half.

Rudiger has also helped the title holders to move on from the John Terry era after the retired England international moved to Aston Villa.

Chelsea lost 2-1 to bitter rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley last term.

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