William Gallas does not agree with Rio Ferdinand over who is currently the best Premier League centre-back, despite the meteoric rise of Antonio Rudiger over the last two seasons.
Former Chelsea defender William Gallas has disagreed with Rio Ferdinand’s view that Antonio Rudiger is the best premier League centre-back in a recent interview.
Gallas spent five seasons at Chelsea before moving on to rival London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham, but does not think that the German international is the league’s best just yet.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand recently revealed that he thought Rudiger had been the best centre-back in the league since Thomas Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge.
“Since Tuchel has come I think he’s arguably been the best centre-back,” he said. “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 rumours 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.”
Gallas still rates Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk higher than any other Premier League defender, but does think that Rudiger can meet the Dutchman’s level if he maintains the same consistency.
Gallas, chatting exclusively to GentingBet
about whether Rudiger can take his game to the next level this season and challenge Virgil van Dijk as the league’s best defender, said: “I think so. Last season he had a great season with Chelsea. He played very, very well.
“He was very strong, he has to thank Tuchel. Since Tuchel has been managing Chelsea we’ve seen a new Rudiger.
He is very important for Chelsea. With his performances they won the Champions League. You know that this guy is going to give everything for the shirt he’s wearing. He’s unbelievable. He’s a warrior.
“They’ve started this season very well. If he’s consistent I’m sure he will be at the same level as van Dijk.”
Both Ferdinand and Gallas agree that Rudiger’s transformation has been outstanding since Tuchel joined the club, but the German boss may face a tricky situation re-signing the defender.
Rudiger is into the last 12 months of his Chelsea contract, and so far no breakthrough of a new deal has been reported, and other clubs will be circling to capture the talented 28-year-old if he were to leave for free.
Tuchel has publically stated that he is hopeful that a deal can get done for Rudiger, as he said: “I hope that they find solutions, but it’s not only between coaches and players, and what we wish for and that’s why it’s between the club, the players and the agent at the moment.
“We hope that they find the solution and everything I can say, he plays excellent, and since a long time very consistent, on a very high level.”
Chelsea are yet to lose in the Premier League this season and have only conceded one goal in their opening five games, as Mohamed Salah scored a penalty during a 1-1 draw at Anfield.