Pundit Garth Crooks has singled out Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger for huge praise after the draw with Liverpool at the weekend.
The Germany international had a solid game against the Reds front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – one of the most feared attacks in Europe right now.
Crooks selected Rudiger in his BBC Premier League team of the week this week, and reserved huge praise for the way the centre-back dealt with the threat of Liverpool’s front three.
‘I’ve steadily grown in admiration for this player during the time he’s been at Chelsea, and so have their supporters,’ Crooks said of Rudiger in his BBC Sport column.
‘To hear the occasional cry of ‘Rudi!’ around Stamford Bridge, a sign of the fans’ approval of another crunching tackle or a powerful header, is quite a compliment.
‘Rudiger hardly gave Liverpool’s holy trinity – Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – a kick. That is bordering on the miraculous.’
Rudiger was a little slow to settle at Stamford Bridge last season, but now looks a far more assured performer as the team in general shows big improvement under Maurizio Sarri.
Blues fans will be delighted to see the 25-year-old fulfil his potential after he first caught the eye with some strong form at previous club Roma.
Unfortunately, Rudiger’s performance was not enough to prevent a Daniel Sturridge wonder-goal helping Liverpool scrape a point at the Bridge at the weekend.