Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger is the new Martin Keown, reckons Steve McManaman

Antonio Rudiger has been impressive for Chelsea of late (Picture: Getty)

Antonio Rudiger is ‘brilliant to watch’ and reminiscent of Arsenal legend Martin Keown, believes Steve McManaman, after the Chelsea defender’s performance against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.

The Blues beat the Spaniards 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, securing a 3-0 aggregate win and progression into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Rudiger produced a solid display as part of a back three, while he was also involved in an incident that saw Stefan Savic sent off late in the game, with the Atletico man throwing an elbow at the German.

McManaman wasn’t impressed with the centre-back’s response to this, but he does like the aggression he shows when defending, which reminds him of the former Arsenal and England man.

‘He’s been great Rudiger, hasn’t he?’ McManaman said on BT Sport. ‘It’s like Martin Keown all over again.

‘Pulling your shirt, scratching you. Brilliant to watch. So aggressive.

‘This three at the back formation really suits him, doesn’t it?’

Former Tottenham and England manager Glen Hoddle added: Hoddle: ‘He just gets so tight. You wouldn’t want to be up against him one on one in training, would you?’

The red card for Savic came about with Chelsea defending a corner and the Montenegrin clearly elbowing Rudiger in the torso.

While the Atletico man cannot have too many complaints about the sending off, McManaman was disappointed to see Rudiger go down and overreact to the clash.

Stefan Savic was shown a red card late in the game (Picture: Getty)

‘He gives him a little elbow. I think that was it,’ said the former Liverpool man. ‘There’s definitely an elbow there but was it enough to put a big central defender on his behind and rolling around like that? I’m not having that, sorry.

‘It is an elbow but he can’t be rolling around on the floor like that either.’

Rudiger was largely out of favour under previous manager Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand says, while there are clear weaknesses in his game, he is flourishing under new management.

‘I think he’s a solid defender,’ said Ferdinand. ‘I think on the ball, you can see some weakness in his game, but defending-wise, you can see an edge to him we haven’t seen in a while especially under Frank.

‘It was obvious Frank didn’t fancy him as a defender and that happens in your career, it can’t just be a bed or roses for everyone, but he’s responded ever so well since he’s been called upon by the new manager.’

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