Rio Ferdinand feels Antonio Rudiger is the Premier League's new best centre-back, ahead of Ruben Dias and Virgil van Dijk. Since Thomas Tuchel came over at the start of the season, the former Manchester United defender has been blown away by Rudiger's performances. When Frank Lampard was manager, the German centre-future back's at the club was uncertain, and Ferdinand confessed his confidence would have 'taken a pounding.' Rudiger, on the other hand, has recovered and become an important figure for Chelsea in the previous nine months, scoring in their 3-0 win over London rivals Tottenham at the weekend.
After the win, Ferdinand lavished praise on Tuchel, saying on his YouTube channel: 'Since Tuchel has joined, I think he's undoubtedly been the greatest centre-back.' I believe he and Dias would have been friends, but his impact on his squad has been enormous. 'It was clear under Frank [Lampard] that he wasn't Frank's cup of tea. He didn't care for him. It was said that they were trying to put him on the market to sell him. 'He's always been well-liked in Germany.' But, regardless of who you are, when your boss doesn't rate you and you can sense it, your confidence takes a hit, and it's difficult to perform at that level.'
Rudiger, who is currently one of Chelsea's first names on the squad sheet, is in a pickle since his contract has only one year left on it and there is no agreement in place to extend it. PSG and Real Madrid are both interested in signing him on a free transfer at the end of the season, but Tuchel wants to lock him down to a new long-term contract before he talks to international teams in January.
'I hope they find answers, but it's not only between coaches and players, and what we want, which is why it's currently between the club, the players, and the agency,' Chelsea manager Tuchel said. 'We hope they find a solution, and all I can say is that he plays well, and has done so for a long time, on a very high level.'
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