Antonio Rudiger says Arsenal will be signing one of the few players in the world who “dictates the game” if Chelsea winger Willian joins the FA Cup winners.
The Gunners are closing in on signing Willian on a£150,000-per-week, three-year deal, with the Brazilian’s Stamford Bridge contract set to expire this month.
It has been suggested that the 32-year-old could miss Chelsea’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Saturday ahead of his expected free transfer to the Emirates.
And Chelsea defender Rudiger says Willian will be a big miss if he does leave the club – comparing him to former teammate Eden Hazard in terms of the impact he can have on a game.
“Since day one of coming to Chelsea, he and David Luiz got me into the team and helped me out in the first couple of months because it was not that easy,” Rudiger told Mail Online.
He is a great guy and a really, really good footballer.
“He is calm and humble and it will be sad if I don’t see him again as a team-mate.”
Rudiger said Willian does his talking with his feet – just like Hazard, who left Chelsea for Real Madrid last summer.
“He is not the type of player who talks that much,” Rudiger said. “He does his thing on the pitch, just like Eden Hazard. By playing, he shows what he is about.
“He is a guy who dictates the game and not many players in the world have this type of quality.
“He is always training [hard] and practicing free-kicks after. He is someone who always wants to improve.”
Chelsea will need to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Bayern on Saturday if they are to reach the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League.
Rudiger and his teammates last week missed out on what would have been a first piece of silverware for Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager when they were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in the FA Cup final.