Ben Chilwell was full of praise for Chelsea college, Antonio Rudiger, and his improvement following Thomas Tuchel’s induction in January.
Speaking to the 5th Stand, Chilwell was reliving the night Chelsea were crowned victors of the Champions League.
Tuchel’s men managed to hold off Manchester City for 90 minutes, thanks to some solid defending and sturdy organisation.
Rock like Rudiger
The only blotch on the Blues brilliant evening was the fact Thiago Silva had to be replaced in the first half because of an injury.
However, Chilwell had no concerns about the Brazilian’s removal, because of the personnel he had around him, in particular Rudiger.
“Thiago going off was obviously not what we wanted but whoever out of the three centre-backs has filled in has been brilliant,” said the Chelsea left-back.
“Playing next to Toni has been amazing. He’s been absolutely class since the manager came in and everyone defended for their lives.”
Whilst Chilwell has been one of the most consistent performers this season, Rudiger’s revolution only started a few months ago.
This coincided with Tuchel taking over from Frank Lampard and reinstalling the centre-back into the side.
Chelsea were transformed into an almost impenetrable fortress, with Rudiger as their gatekeeper.
They lost just four times all season when the 28-year-old was in attendance.
He and Chilwell formed a fine partnership down the left-hand channel, as the latter learned his new wing-back role.
It is a partnership that Blues fans would love to be recreated next campaign.
Unfortunately, their wishes may not be answered.
Talks about awarding Rudiger an extension on his contract have yet to develop.
Time is running out for the German international, who only has 12 months left on his current deal.