Chelsea has announced the signing of central defender Antonio Rudiger with a
cringe-worthy cross-promotional video on social media.
The Blues signed the 24-year-old German international from AS Roma, where he spent two seasons after coming to Serie A from Stuttgart. Rudiger missed over half that two years with an ACL tear, but recovered to make 25 league starts for Roma last season as they put forth the second-best defensive record in the Italian top flight.
“We are pleased to be able to bring in a player of proven quality who adds to our defensive options,” said Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo in the official release. “Antonio is still young but is experienced at club and international level and possesses all the requisite attributes to thrive in the Premier League. We have been aware of him for some time and we are confident he will fit in well with the squad.”
Rudiger was part of the German squad that won the Confederations Cup, playing four of the five matches, including a full 90 minutes in the final against Chile. Germany won all four matches he played, while they drew the one he did not appear. Germany employed a three-CB system for the entirety of the tournament, similar to the system Rudiger will see under Antonio Conte at Chelsea.
Roma confirmed that Chelsea has paid $40 million for Rudiger’s contract, with the potential for it to rise another $4 million in add-ons. The signing bolsters the back line for the Blues, replacing Nathan Ake who was sold to Bournemouth on a permanent basis.
Rudiger’s tackling numbers were mediocre last season with Roma, but he is good with the ball at his feet and also provides an aerial presence at 6′ 3.