‘Without doubt’: BBC Sport pundit names Chelsea FC’s best defender

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks believes Antonio Rudiger has played a key role in making Chelsea FC "impenetrable" at the back

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screengrab)

Garth Crooks has named Antonio Rudiger as Chelsea FC’s best defender after the Germany international scored in the 3-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Chelsea FC centre-half managed to break the deadlock with a brilliant header from Ben Chilwell’s corner in the first half at the King Power Stadium after he managed to escape the attention of the Leicester defenders.

N’Golo Kante doubled the south west London side’s lead with an impressive finish from outside the penalty area before Christian Pulisic completed a 3-0 win with 19 minutes left to play at Leicester.

Chelsea FC have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five Premier League games to help Tuchel’s side establish a three-point lead at the top of the table.

Rudiger has played more minutes than any other outfield player in the Chelsea FC squad ahead of Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen in the current campaign.

BBC Sport pundit Crooks highlighted Rudiger’s importance to Chelsea FC after his second goal of the Premier League season.

“I seem to recall Antonio Rudiger scoring against Leicester from a set-piece before at the King Power Stadium,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“You’d have thought the Foxes would have learned their lesson by now.

“The German is a threat in the opposition penalty area, and his headed goal was an absolute peach. Chelsea also looked impenetrable at the back with Rudiger and Thiago Silva at the heart of their defence.

“Rudiger is without doubt their best defender. Lose him for any length of time for whatever reason and Chelsea might find themselves in a spot of bother.”

The former Roma defender has scored three times against Leicester in his Chelsea FC career so far.

Rudiger’s future has been a source of relentless speculation this season seeing as the German defender has little over six months left to run on his current deal at the south west London side.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand urged the Chelsea FC board to resolve Rudiger’s future quickly after his impressive display at Leicester.

“Well I think they’ve got to pay him so he is feeling that he’s getting paid what he feels he should be, which is at the upper echelons of the squad,” Ferdinand told BT Sport after the final whistle on Saturday lunchtime.

“Wherever the highest earners are, I think he sees himself as part of that. If you look in this squad of players you wouldn’t want to lose, for a number of week or a number of games, he’d be one of the first on your list in terms of you’d want to keep him in there.

“Because his influence, he’s aggressive, he sets the tone a lot of the time, and when they need to shut the door at the back he’s normally the one who puts his foot in where it hurts.”

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