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Chelsea have completed their second major signing of the summer, as they have signed defender Antonio Rudiger from Italian side AS Roma for a fee reported of £34million (Guardian).
The 24-year old German international has established himself as one of the most promising centre-halves in Europe over the last couple of years and has joined forces with the Premier League champions ahead of next season.
Last season, Rudiger made 35 appearances for the Giallorossi, registering four assists in the process.
“It’s a great feeling because not every player has the opportunity to join a huge club like this,” Rudiger said upon completing the move (as quoted by Guardian). “I am looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and I’m very proud to officially become a Chelsea player.”
With the Blues completing the transfer for the towering defender, here’s how their defensive line will look in the coming season.
The Belgian international is the undisputed No.1 at the Stamford Bridge, with summer signing Willy Caballero set to play second-fiddle.
Azpi had a wonderful season, playing in an unfamiliar position as a centre-back on the right-side of the back three for Conte. However, with Rudiger’s signing, it is likely that the Spanish international will be pushed out wide into the right wing-back role. This would see last season’s first choice wing-back Victor Moses being content with a place on the bench.
Standing tall at 6ft 3in, Rudiger can be an imposing presence on the Premier League strikers and combine that his excellent ball playing abilities, Chelsea are going to reap huge benefits from their latest signing. He will be taking his place on the right-side of the three-man defence.
At the heart of it all will be last summer’s signing David Luiz. The Brazilian was termed as a panic buy when Chelsea bought him back from PSG. But Luiz has silenced all his critics with some excellent displays at the back – so much so that he earned a place in the PFA Team of the Year. Expect more of the same from him.
Completing the three-man defence will be Gary Cahill. With John Terry gone, the England international is the obvious choice for the captain’s armband next season and he will look to lead his team with the same authority and solidity like last season.
Another last summer signing who was ridiculed upon arriving, Alonso also proved all his detractors wrong with a series of stellar displays in a left wing-back role. Alonso was in prime form last season and was a key member of Antonio Conte’s master tactics. He should keep his spot unless Conte decides to buy a star name to replace him.