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Rio Ferdinand names Chelsea star as the Premier League’s best defender

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The Manchester United legend knows the real deal when he sees it and thinks Antonio Rudiger is the best central defender in the Premier League.

Antonio Rudiger gets Rio Ferdinand’s vote as the best center-back in the Premier League.

Despite acknowledging Manchester City star Ruben Dias as another worthy pick, Ferdinand reckons the ‘immense’ effect Rudiger has on Chelsea teammates gives him an edge for the honor.

Indeed, since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard last January, Rudiger has enjoyed an upturn in fortune. The German’s impressive displays under the Blues manager have made him a regular starter.

“Since Tuchel has come, I think he’s arguably been the best center-back,” said Ferdinand on his YouTube channel. “I think him and Dias would have been close, but the effect he has had on his team has been immense.

“Under Frank [Lampard], it was evident he wasn’t Frank’s cup of tea. He didn’t really like him. There was rumors there were trying to put him in the market to be sold. In Germany, he’s always been highly thought of. But when the manager doesn’t rate you and you can feel that, I don’t care who you are, your confidence takes a beating and it’s hard to perform at that level.”

Ferdinand also expressed his hope that Rudiger will commit his future to Chelsea rather than become a free agent.

The 28-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and hasn’t signed a new deal. His potential availability has reportedly alerted several European clubs, including Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.