'Stick him in a Manchester United shirt': BBC pundit says Chelsea star would be great at Old Trafford

Garth Crooks insisted that Manchester United or any top Premier League club would be lucky to have Chelsea cult-hero Antonio Rudiger in their squad.

Crooks included Rudiger in his BBC Team of the Week, due to the centre-back’s contribution against Leeds United on the weekend.

Never a dull moment goes by in the life of the 28-year-old.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

The German international won two penalties that pushed the Champions League holders to a 3-2 victory at Stamford Bridge last Saturday.


He then got into the thick of the action at the full-time whistle, as many of the Leeds players took offense to their hosts’ behaviour in the match.

Particularly Rudiger, who drew the foul inside the box in the 94th minute that ultimately won the game for Thomas Tuchel’s team.

Junior Firpo felt most sternly about the defender’s antics in the area and had a few choice words to blurt out after the tie had finished.

Unfortunately, if there is one man you do not want to mess with in the Chelsea squad, it’s the ex-Roma centurion.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Sadly for Tuchel, Rudiger might not be part of the organisation for much longer.

Rudiger is really good

It appears increasingly likely he will leave the club next summer, as the clock on his contract continues to wind down.

All manner of interested suitors are reportedly lining up to land the centre-half if he does depart from the Blues camp.

Several of those are apparently stationed right here in England.

“Regular readers will know how highly I rate Rudiger. The Germany international has been outstanding for Chelsea for some time,” said Crooks.

“He made my team of the season and if he keeps playing the way he is at the moment, he’s odds-on to do it again.

“His performance against a stubborn Leeds, who were to some extent responsible for their own downfall, was quite brilliant.”

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Rivals circling Rudiger

“There is some speculation Rudiger might still have contractual issues with Chelsea. If that is the case I suggest they solve them very quickly,” continued Crooks.

“Stick him in a Manchester United shirt, for example, and suddenly they become a very attractive proposition.

“In plain language, Chelsea simply cannot afford to lose him – and certainly not to one of their rivals.”

Letting Rudiger join a fellow big boy in the top division would be a terrible decision from Chelsea’s chain of command.

As Crooks rightly pointed out, United, Manchester City or Liverpool’s title chances improve dramatically if he is on their side.

That is why the Blues must resolve his future quickly, or they risk losing arguably their prized possession.  

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.

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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.