'You see it now': Avram Grant hails in-form Chelsea ace as 'one of best' in the Premier League

Avram Grant handed Antonio Rudiger a massive compliment when discussing the current Chelsea squad, speaking to Dubai Eye 103.8 Sport.

The 66-year-old took charge of Chelsea in 2007/08, leading them to a Champions League final and a second-place finish in the Premier League.

Grant was quizzed about his former side’s chances of returning to that kind of title-challenging level.

“You ask me this question the first thing I’m looking for is if they have the players or not because you need a strategy,” admitted Grant.

“You need a lot of things but you need to the players to do it and I think they have good players now.”

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He continued to discuss the stellar squad that Thomas Tuchel has at his disposal, which includes Rudiger.

“They have a very good goalkeeper and they have good defenders, “said Grant.

“(Antonio) Rudiger, for me, is one of the best defenders in the Premier League and you see it now when he’s playing and they have good midfield players, (N’Golo) Kante and others.”

Rudiger’s recent form has certainly thrown his name into the ring for the league’s finest central defender.

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He is yet to miss a game under Tuchel, ensuring eight clean sheets have been kept from a possible ten.

This is a stark comparison to Rudiger’s experience with Frank Lampard.

Tuchel’s predecessor left out the German centre-back with alarming regularity.

Uncertainty lingered over Rudiger’s future for some time, until he suddenly found himself back in Lampard’s starting lineup for the 1-0 victory over Fulham.

Since that win in the middle of January, he hasn’t looked back, even during Chelsea’s managerial swap over.

It could be argued the 28-year-old’s name is one of the first on Tuchel’s team sheet, which is high praise considering the amount of changes that have been made.

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Football Insider reported that Rudiger was being rewarded for his consistency with a new contract.

There was a counter-argument from The Athletic, who stated no such deal had been presented to the player.

Whatever happens further down the line, Rudiger and Chelsea are simply enjoying the here and now.

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Considering Grant worked with John Terry, Ashley Cole and Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea, I’m going to take his word about Rudiger as gospel.

His physicality, combined with his ability on the ball, makes him a striker’s nightmare and a teammates dream.

Keep up this good work and a new contract could be arriving through Rudiger’s letterbox soon.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.