Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand names four best defenders in Premier League including Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger

RIO FERDINAND has named his four best Premier League defenders – including Antonio Rudiger.

The Chelsea ace almost departed in the summer under Frank Lampard after being frozen out of the first team.

But he was thrust back into the starting XI following Thomas Tuchel's appointment in January and has gone from strength to strength.

Rudiger, 28, has been part of a Chelsea defence that kept a hugely impressive 19 league clean sheets.

Ferdinand unsurprisingly also name-dropped PFA Player of the Year Ruben Dias and his Manchester City team-mate John Stones.

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The formidable pair have been crucial to their title win and boasted the best defensive record in the league, conceding 32 times.

Ferdinand also stayed loyal to United by picking captain Harry Maguire.

He said on his FIVE Youtube channel: "I think [Antonio] Rudiger, since he’s been playing, has probably been [the] second or third best centre-half after [Ruben] Dias and maybe [John] Stones, [Harry] Maguire."

Further referring to Rudiger, Ferdinand added: "He’s around the bottom of that group. He’s been brilliant since the new manager has come in.”

Rudiger's future at Chelsea has remained in doubt with just a year left on his contract.

But the club are eager to begin talks over an extension after the Euros to ward off any interest in his signature.

Boss Tuchel said: "Nothing is better than what he is doing for a new contract.

“If he wants to have a new contract he has our full support to stay at the club.

“He is speaking with his performances. He has been amazing since day one.”

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