Speaking to Sky Sports News, Van Dijk said: "There's so many good defenders out there. The old guys, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Gerard Pique. The game has evolved and defending is different.
"If you look at Laporte and Rudiger. I think he had a fantastic season last year and the way he came back from a knee injury, I have even more respect for him now."
Tuchel has affirmed that Silva could stay beyond the summer of 2022, but Rudiger is in the final year of his deal and is facing a far more uncertain future.
Rudiger and Silva could not help their side keep a clean sheet against Southampton on Saturday, but the Blues still marched to a convincing 3-1 Premier League success. body check tags ::