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Good Job Conte – 3 Reasons Why Signing This German Is A Calculated Risk By Chelsea

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Antonio Rudiger

Three Reasons Why Antonio Rudiger Is A Calculated Risk By Conte

Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, have been busy in trimming their squad in recent weeks and have only brought in former Manchester City custodian Willy Caballero on a Bosman transfer. The Blues boss Antonio Conte seems to have shortlisted a few transfer targets in order to reconstruct his squad and leave an impression in their return to prestigious Champions League football.

The former Juventus and Azzurri boss has triggered a deal for AS Roma centre-back Antonio Rudiger as the 24-year old Germany international is close to complete a £34.2million move and set to become Conte’s first major signing of the summer transfer window.

Conte, who previously sighted Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci as his prime transfer targets, has reportedly accepted a defeat for now in pursuit of these two high-profile defensive options and banked on the relatively younger defender of the lot. Although the signing of Rudiger has generated a mixed response among the Blues’ supporters, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup winner is a risk worth taking for certain reasons.

Versatility in Defence

Rudiger is capable of playing in multiple defensive roles as well as formations, that will bring flexibility to Conte’s back-line. The Italian, who upturned Chelsea’s fortunes last season after shifting to a 3-4-3 formation, needs someone who has previous experience of playing in ‘three-man’ defence. Rudiger has also been explored in fullback roles and is expected to fit in the right-hand side of Chelsea’s ‘back three’.

Physicality and Key Defensive Attributes

The 6 ft 3 in tall German professional is hailed for his physicality as well as aerial ability. Rudiger won 42 headed duels ( 55% success rate) and completed 16 take-ons ( 70% successful) in 2016-17 Serie A season. He, moreover, pulled off 88 clearances and 27 interceptions. He also holds 83% average pass accuracy with 87 successful long balls. His style of play suits Conte’s philosophy and the new recruit will help Chelsea forming counter-attacking threats from deep.

International Success and A Bright Future

Antonio Rudiger has become a familiar name in German defence and the former youth international has already made 17 senior appearances for his country. He played a key role in their latest Confederations Cup triumph and was highly praised by Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Low for his defensive versatility. Although he is a little clumsy while tackling and has disciplinary concerns, Rudiger, at the age of 24, has already earned enough experience and success at club and country level and will only get better under the profound guidance of Antonio Conte.