The German is regarded by many as a defender who takes no prisoners and gets in the face of attackers he goes up against. Foster, while selecting Rudiger in his Premier League Team of the Season for the ongoing campaign, spoke about what it was like to go against him.
The Englishman said on the Fozcast podcast (as quoted by The Chelsea Chronicle):
“He’s got a bit of nous about him; he’s nasty, he’ll kick you; he’ll smile and shake your hand; he’ll help you up… I love Rudiger. ”
While Rudiger is a fan favorite at Chelsea, many also consider him to be among the best central defenders in the Premier League right now. The 29-year-old has enjoyed an incredible resurgence under compatriot Thomas Tuchel and has been key in the Blues’ recent success.
Antonio Rudiger set to leave Chelsea this summer
Rudiger joined Chelsea from Serie A giants AS Roma in the summer of 2017.
The center-back settled in quickly, making 45 appearances across competitions in his debut season. Injuries derailed the second half of his 2018-19 season, but Rudiger still racked up 44 appearances across competitions.
However, the German only featured sparingly under Frank Lampard in the 2019-20 campaign, making just 28 appearances. He played just two times in the first 17 Premier League games of the next season but became a fixture in the lineup following Lampard’s dismissal.
Rudiger became a key part of Tuchel’s three-man defensive system, ending the season with 34 appearances and a UEFA Champions League winners’ medal. He has added the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup trophies to his resume this season, playing 49 times across competitions, bagging five goals and four assists.
With his contract expiring in the summer, Rudiger is all but certain to leave Stamford Bridge this summer. The 29-year-old has agreed a four-year deal with Real Madrid (as per Fabrizio Romano) and will complete a free transfer to the Spanish capital.