Garth Crooks: Antonio Rudiger is the best defender at Chelsea FC

Antonio Rudiger is the best defender at Chelsea FC, according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (Photo: YouTube / Screengrab)

Antonio Rudiger is the best defender at Chelsea FC, Garth Crooks says.

The Germany international started the 2020-21 season being linked with a potential transfer after falling out of favour under Frank Lampard.

The 28-year-old was linked with a surprise switch to Chelsea FC’s bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur after he tumbled down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

Rudiger made just four Premier League appearances under Lampard before the Blues legend was sacked following a disappointing run of results at the start of the calendar year.

Tuchel started Rudiger in his first game in charge of the west London side as the German centre-half helped Chelsea FC to keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw with Wolves.

Rudiger has helped Chelsea FC to keep 10 clean sheets in their 12 games since Tuchel took over the reins of the Stamford Bridge outfit.

BBC Sport pundit Crooks isn’t surprised to see Rudiger thrive in the Chelsea FC team.

“When I saw Patrick Bamford limp off the pitch at Elland Road after a collision with Antonio Rudiger, I wasn’t surprised,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Most players who come into contact with Rudiger know that they have been in a game. Since the German international returned to the Chelsea line-up, their goal against tally has been as good as any defence in the league.

“Earlier in the season they were leaking goals. I keep telling Chelsea fans that Rudiger may not be pretty but he is the best defender at the club.”

Rudiger moved to Chelsea FC in a £29m deal from Serie A side AS Roma in the 2017 summer transfer window.

The German defender has scored six times in 135 games in all competitions over the past four seasons.

Chelsea FC will take on Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

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