Pat Nevin thinks that Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger may be the toughest defender in the world right now for opponents to face.
Rudiger, who earns £100,000-a-week, has always been an aggressive centre-back since he moved to Stamford Bridge back in 2017. The Germany international is quick, strong and doesn’t give attackers any time on the ball.
However, his game has gone up a level since Thomas Tuchel took charge as Blues manager at the start of the calendar year.
The 28-year-old is a man mountain as the left-sided defender in a back-three formation and has to be one of the first names in the starting XI right now.
Nevin can’t think of anyone in world football right now that can rival Rudiger for one-on-one defending against strikers.
“He must be just about the hardest guy in the business to beat just now. A huge part of my job in my career was to go past people and I am not sure if I have witnessed many better at stopping even brilliant players in those one-on-one scenarios, from back then until right now,” Nevin said.
Is Antonio Rudiger underrated right now?
Yes, that’s the simple answer.
If you consider Rudiger has been phenomenal for Chelsea since Tuchel arrived in January, it shows that the player has not just hit a good run of form.
Tuchel has managed to iron out the rashness and mistakes from the defender’s game to create someone who brings such authority at the back.
Rudiger is more than happy to defend against attackers with pace because he’s one of the quickest individuals in the Chelsea squad.
Also, the powerhouse will never shy away from any physical encounter. In fact, he thrives in that kind of scenario.
There has always been so much to like about Rudiger’s game, but the way he’s turning out brilliant performances every week means he deserves to be spoken about as one of Europe’s elite defenders right now.
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