Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger is the best defender in Frank Lampard’s squad, according to Arsenal legend Martin Keown. Rudiger looks set to leave Chelsea in this transfer window after being snubbed by Lampard so far this season. The Germany international was an unused substitute in the opening-day win over Brighton and was left out of the squad altogether for the 2-0 loss to Liverpool.
Rudiger’s chances of playing are set to diminish further following the return to full fitness of new-signing Thiago Silva, who made his debut in the Carabao Cup win over Barnsley on Wednesday.
But Keown has questioned Lampard’s decision to not play the 27-year-old and seemingly allow him to leave the club.
Reports have linked Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona with Rudiger in the last couple of days.
However, Keown says Lampard’s best defensive partnership is Rudiger alongside the experienced Silva.
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“The goals they concede, they don’t seem to know how to mark properly from crosses,” Keown said on talkSPORT.
“If you look at that [foul] they conceded last week, the sending off, Christensen, what are they doing?
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“The ball’s at the other end of the pitch. Have a look at their line if you look at the detail.
“We’re asked to analyse now in this job, I spend hours watching, their defence is a disgrace.
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“Silva comes in, maybe he resolves that. Maybe Rudiger actually is the best defender and he would perform better with somebody alongside him with the craft of how to defend crosses, with the amount of goals they conceded last season.
“There are elements of their team at the back that are not quite right.
“I do think [Silva alongside Rudiger is best] and I know he has a problem from set-pieces, but they all do.
“[Kurt] Zouma is maybe a better header of the ball but Zouma is also prone to mistakes.
“I think Rudiger is the best defender and that is the long-term partnership for me, but it looks like Rudiger is going out the door.
“So it’s all opinions but defensively I think they need to do more.”
Chelsea will aim to bounce back from the loss to Liverpool when they visit newly-promoted West Brom on Saturday (5.30pm).
West Brom have lost their opening two matches of the campaign to Leicester and Everton.
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