Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has confessed to believing that Chelsea have the best centre-back in the Premier League.
It comes after a masterclass performance from players and coach for the Blues against Tottenham.
Chelsea are top of the Premier League after beating their London rivals 3-0 away from Stamford Bridge.
It continues the club's fine form under Thomas Tuchel, with many tipping him to lead them to Premier League glory this season ahead of Manchester City.
One of the main reasons for Chelsea's successful start has been their fine defence, who have conceded just once in the league – a penalty against Liverpool.
And a star man at the back has been Antonio Rudiger, who has gone from strength to strength under Tuchel.
The Germany international was on the scoresheet against Tottenham in their 3-0 win and Ferdinand was full of praise.
However, Chelsea are in a sticky situation with the centre-back's contract expiring at the end of the season.
He said: "Since Tuchel has come I think he’s arguably been the best centre-back. 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."
Tuchel has already stated that he is keen on Rudiger to sign a new contract but understands it is out of his hands.
"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," he said.
"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.
"I feel him very calm and focused, and it’s not a distraction for him. So everything is in place, and give things the time they need. Sometimes it needs a bit longer, sometimes things are very fast."
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