Chelsea Sign Centre-Back Antonio Rudiger

Germany's defender Antonio Ruediger holds the trophy after beating Chile 1-0 to win the 2017 Confederations Cup final football match between Chile and Germany at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea completed the signing of German centre-back Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma today for €33m with €5m in add-ons. Reliable Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano of Sky Italy suggested a fee of €33m with €5m in add-ons earlier this week. The German international completed his medical after returning from Germany’s Confederations Cup campaign.

Chelsea Sign Centre-Back Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger was a crucial part of the Roma backline last season. Comfortable in either a three or a two, as well as the ability to play at right-back, Rudiger fits Antonio Conte’s billing. In AS Roma’s “The Szczesny Show” YouTube series, Rudiger stated his preferred position as the left of a three.

On Chelsea’s radar in 2016 prior to a cruciate ligament rupture, he fills the squad places left by ex-captain John Terry and Nathan AkeHaving recovered from his injury to make 25 appearances in Rome this season, Rudiger bolsters an already title-winning back five at Chelsea.

Where does he fit?

Given his versatility, he allows for Chelsea to swap between a back four and five in the same way as Cesar Azpilicueta. However, the obvious fit is at left centre-back. Cahill may be club captain, but with obvious holes in his game he may be usurped this season. Add in the additional fixtures and Rudiger just makes sense.

At 24 years old, with a very reasonable fee in the current market, he ticks a few boxes on the Chelsea board checklist. He adds first team quality; has resale value; is versatile, physically dominant, and technically proficient. It is a good fit. Chelsea now have five centre-backs for three spots heading into preseason. With rumours of Leonardo Bonucci and Virgil Van Dijk still swirling, Rudiger might not be the last addition Chelsea make.

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