Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has named his four best Premier League defenders – including John Stones and Harry Maguire.
Ferdinand, who now works as a pundit for BT Sport, knows a thing or two about what it takes to be an elite level central defender.
The 42-year-old made 514 top-flight appearances for West Ham, Leeds United and Man Utd and was named in the Premier League Team of the Year on no fewer than six occasions.
His four picks include current Red Devils star Maguire and Manchester City pair Stones and Ruben Dias.
But Ferdinand went slightly more left-field with the final member of his defensive four-some.
He said: “I think [Antonio] Rudiger, since he’s been playing, has probably been [the] second or third best centre-half after [Ruben] Dias and maybe [John] Stones, [Harry] Maguire.”
Expanding on his decision to pick Rudiger, Ferdinand added: “He’s around the bottom of that group. He’s been brilliant since the new manager has come in.”
Rudiger was used sparingly by former manager Frank Lampard at the start of the campaign but has come in from the cold since the January arrival of Thomas Tuchel.
The 28-year-old has helped the Blues keep a mightily-impressive 19 clean sheets and is now in line to start Saturday’s Champions League final against Man City.
Tuchel has been delighted with Rudiger’s impact since his arrival and spoke recently about his desire to see the defender sign a contract extension at Stamford Bridge.
He said: "Nothing is better than what he is doing for a new contract. If he wants to have a new contract he has our full support to stay at the club.
“He is speaking with his performances. He has been amazing since day one.”
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