Saturday, November 18, 2017

Can Chelsea really warrant the £34m Antonio Rüdiger signing?

July 17, 2017 by  
Filed under International, Premier League

Antonio Rudiger Has Signed with Chelsea

Does the Chelsea Football Club really need Antonio Rüdiger, especially to the tune of £34m? While the 24-year old German player certainly has great potential, Andreas Christensen, Nathan Aké and Kurt Zouma do too. Rüdiger is also gaining a reputation for committing many fouls and many are saying he may not be that much of an upgrade.

A Move to Placate Antonio Conte

Since he arrived in London, Antonio Conte has had one overriding wish, which was to sign a centre-back trained in his homeland. Rüdiger, to a degree, has helped him make that wish come true.

Conte would have favoured a Leonardo Bonucci signing, and there is certainly a sense that Chelsea have settled for second best in Rüdiger, even after they managed to take the title so decisively. The football club has tripped up regarding a number of targets this time, most notably in losing Romelu Lukaku, and Conte is not impressed.

Although Rüdiger has spent some time linked with Chelsea now, his arrival does appear to be designed to mollify Conte in the short term. The fact is, Chelsea desperately needed a signing, and, although a transfer for Tiemoué Bakayoko, a Monacan midfielder, seems to still be possible, the deal for Rüdiger was a more straightforward one.

Conte is Keen to Bolster His Backline

Conte has been devoted to bolstering his backline with an athlete able to quickly adapt to tactical demands, and Rüdiger fits the bill in this regard. But this player is far from the finished article: When he moved from Stuttgart to Roma two years ago, he spent a good while adapting to the league.

Rüdiger’s versatility is definitely an asset, but this same quality has also played a part in holding him back. As punters who take advantage of online betting in NZ can attest to, he has not ever been required to cover a full-back position, and that has restricted him from a number of games in what is definitely his strongest position. 13 of this 25 starts in last season’s Series A saw him in either left- or right-back positions, and, although he is competent in both of these roles, he is at heart a centre-half.

Rüdiger Has Plenty of Room to Improve

Rüdiger’s relatively scanty rating of just 6.78 from full-back over the last season rose up to 7 when he started getting stationed at the centre of the Roma defensive line, but this figure is still a modest one, and the player has plenty of room for improvement.

He seemed far more comfortable when he was deployed in a back three, during last season’s games under Luciano Spalletti, and his aptitude for playing on either side of the game’s middlemen has certainly been one of the biggest reasons Conte was interested in acquiring him. Rüdiger will be able to offer the Chelsea Football Club a chance to move César Azpilicueta to the role of right wing-back, as well, which would definitely upgrade another position in the team, and time will be the teller of what Rüdiger will be able to deliver to the Blues.

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