football

Graeme Souness hails Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger for ‘bullying people’


Antonio Rudiger has been impressive for Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel (Picture: Getty Images)

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has been praised for his aggression and for ‘bullying people’ by Liverpool legend Graeme Souness.

The 28-year-old has been a crucial part of Chelsea’s success since Thomas Tuchel took over as manager in January, having previously been frozen out under previous boss Frank Lampard.

The Germany international has started all four Premier League games so far this season as the Blues have made an impressive start to their campaign, picking up 10 points and conceding just one goal.

With the arrival of Romelu Lukaku this summer, Souness feels Chelsea are serious title challengers, but this is also thanks to the improvement in Rudiger’s game, which has come from being physical and intimidating towards opposing forwards.

‘Rüdiger has become more aggressive,’ Souness told The Times. ‘In the second-last league game of last season, against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea had lost the FA Cup final to them, he went through a few Leicester players in the first five minutes to put a marker down and now looks to be bullying people.

‘He’s laying it on the line, saying, “Does anyone fancy taking me on?” and his team-mates are responding to that.’

Tottenham will be the latest team to try and hand Chelsea their first defeat of the season when the sides meet in north London on Sunday afternoon and Spurs try to recover from a shock 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace last time out.

Souness doesn’t fancy Spurs’ chances, or many teams’ odds when they come up against Chelsea as he continues to be impressed by Tuchel at the helm at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel has a stunning record at Chelsea so far (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I’ve been extremely impressed by Tuchel,’ said the Scot. ‘There’s no gobbledegook from him. It’s just straightforward common-sense football chat, which is missing in a lot of interviews we see — without naming any names.

‘Players such as Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta and Antonio Rüdiger have all performed better for him than they did for Frank.’


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