BBC pundit says not picking one player was Lampard's 'biggest mistake'

'The biggest mistake': BBC pundit thinks Frank Lampard made a huge error not picking £100k-a-week man for Chelsea

Garth Crooks has said not selecting Antonio Rudiger more was the “biggest mistake” of Frank Lampard’s reign as Chelsea manager.

It’s approaching a year since the Blues sacked club legend Lampard as their manager.

Fortunately, current boss Thomas Tuchel has been a sensational replacement since arriving at Stamford Bridge in January.

Tuchel’s success has largely been down to the quality of his team’s defending, with an introduction of a back three system working superbly. Rudiger, who earns £100,000-a-week, has arguably benefited most from Tuchel’s arrival in 2021.

The 28-year-old centre-back found himself out of favour with Lampard, who rarely used him in the Premier League in the few months leading up to his dismissal. Instead, he would often leave the German defender as an unused substitute.

BBC pundit Crooks feels Rudiger’s treatment was a big part of Lampard’s failure and has hailed his importance this calendar year at Chelsea.

“The biggest mistake of Frank Lampard’s short managerial career at Chelsea was refusing to play Antonio Rudiger. The German international’s presence in a Chelsea shirt has proved to be invaluable since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel,” Crooks wrote.

“Rudiger was surplus to requirements under Lampard, but since the arrival of Tuchel the defender has gone on to win the Champions League and become one of the most sought-after defenders in the world. Well it sort of qualifies you when Paris St-Germain and Real Madrid want to sign you.”

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea fans brace themselves for life without Rudiger

Of course, there is still time for Rudiger to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.

However, Blues supporters should come round to the idea that the popular centre-half may not be a Chelsea player next season.

Apparently, Tuchel’s side will make a last-ditch attempt to keep him in London. But, his contract expires at the end of the campaign and he’s been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.