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Sunday, April 10, 2022

Antonio Rudiger has perfect answer to David Luiz comparison amid Chelsea transfer warning

  Paul Merson has warned prospective bidders that Antonio Rudiger 'struggles' in a back-four. The 29- year-old sees his contract ...


Paul Merson has warned prospective bidders that Antonio Rudiger 'struggles' in a back-four. The 29- year-old sees his contract at Stamford Bridge expire at the end of the season, and with the Blues currently unable to dish out new deals, he's set to leave in the summer.

Rudiger has grown into one of Thomas Tuchel's most important players since he touched down in west London, predominantly featuring on the left of a back-three. The German international's displays, which have guided Chelsea to European and World glory, have attracted the attention of some of Europe's biggest sides.

Despite Merson's concern that Rudiger 'struggles' in a back-four, the defender has the perfect answer to his accusation. The German has lost just once in six Premier League clashes when utilised in a back-four, winning three - one of which was against London rivals Tottenham.

With a strong hand in Chelsea's Champions League and Club World Cup success, Rudiger has quickly become one of the most highly sought after free agents who are available this summer. Though, speaking on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, Merson claimed that the German has been 'fortunate'.

"He struggles in a back four," he said. "He has had a good season and been fortunate. He has pulled the wool over Chelsea fans' eyes in a way because he's not signing a new deal for Chelsea, but the fans love him still.

"If Rudiger doesn't play in a back three, then he isn't a good buy, but if he does, then he is one of the best about. He is exactly like David Luiz, the exact same kind of player."

Former Tottenham defender Michael Dawson threw his hat in the ring and acknowledged Rudiger's success but quickly reverted to Merson's hymn sheet. The 2008 Carling Cup winner detailed the different challenges that are on the table when playing in a four compared to a three.

"We have always been very complimentary of Rudiger, and as Merson said, it's always different playing in a defensive three than a two," he said. "As in a two, you get dragged out, and when Rudiger plays in a three, you're allowed to get dragged out and go into different places."

Despite Merson's and Dawson's concern, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Rudiger has courted interest from Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus for his impressive performances this season.

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