Chris Sutton has admitted he’s baffled Antonio Rudiger was on the fringes under ex-Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.
The £100,000-a-week German defender has found himself struggling for minutes for most of this season and has played just 11 games across all competitions.
But two of those have come since Thomas Tuchel took charge last week as the new Blues boss.
Rudiger, 27, appears to be back in favour in West London and has started back-to-back games as part of a back three.
The quick centre-back is currently in the XI alongside Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta, meaning centre-halves Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen are back-up options as it stands.
Pundit and ex-Blues forward Sutton has explained that he’s shocked Rudiger had to spend most of this campaign watching from the sidelines.
“This has been a head scratcher for me. If you’d have asked me [at the start of the season] who’s Chelsea’s best centre-half, I would have said Rudiger. I think that was a mistake from Frank to leave him out,” Lampard told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport.
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Let’s overlook the numerous rumours around Rudiger falling out with others at Chelsea and look at him as a player.
Lampard did recall him for his final two league matches as manager, but decided to drop him beforehand.
He’s an experienced defender with pace, power and experience, but is certainly capable of an individual lapses in concentration or a rash decision.
Zouma and Silva were in the XI on merit earlier in the season due to their combination in defence, but a new manager has opened the door for Rudiger to enjoy a revival.