Chelsea have been told not to sell Antonio Rudiger amid links with possible transfers to Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain – ‘because he is their best defender’.
That’s according to Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who says the German center-back is the Blues’ best chance to end their horrific record-breaking goals.
Frank Lampard is still trying to find a solution to his defensive problems as his team continue to lose goals.
Chelsea scored 54 Premier League goals last season – more than any other top ten team – and have already conceded three in their first two games of the new campaign.
Keown has called the Blues’ defense a ‘joke and shame’ and he believes Rudiger is their best hope to fix it.
But the 27-year-old is currently considered the fifth center-back of choice at Stamford Bridge after the arrivals of Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr this summer.
Lampard also has over 30 players on his books. It’s no secret that he’s trying to clear up his squad ahead of the October 5 deadline, and Rudiger has been widely linked with a departure with both PSG and Barcelona interested.
But that would be a mistake, according to Keown, who discussed Chelsea’s defensive issues with talkSPORT host Jim White on Friday.
“The goals they concede, they don’t seem to know how to score crosses properly,” said the former Arsenal and England center-back.
“We’re being asked to analyze now in this work, to look at the details; Take a look at the Chelsea line.
“I spent hours watching, their defense is a joke, it’s a shame!
“Silva came in, maybe he will fix that, but I think Rudiger is actually their best defender.
“He will perform better with someone by his side teaching him how to score crosses – that’s where they conceded a lot of goals last season.
“The defense has gone out the window in the Premier League for now, by the way, but there are elements of the Chelsea squad at the back that aren’t quite right.
“They’re not in position early enough and that’s because they fall asleep.”
When asked what he thinks Lampard’s first choice center-back should be, Keown added:
“I would go Thiago Silva alongside Rudiger.
“I know Rudiger has a problem with set pieces, but they all do. Kurt Zouma might be a better head of the ball, but he’s also prone to mistakes.
“I think Rudgier is their best defenseman, and that’s the long-standing partnership.
“But, it looks like Rudiger is coming out the door!”