Chelsea

Conte to shuffle Chelsea Back Four? – £34m Antonio Rudiger looks to make an impact

Antonio Rudiger seems like the stop-plug which Conte has been looking for the Chelsea back four. The German international has had recent success in the Confederations Cup in Russia and now a reported £34 million move to the Blues has cemented a stellar summer for the former Roma man.

The 24-year-old has shown prowess to stabilise the defensive line in Serie A and previously in the Bundesliga for Stuttgart. Chelsea have Nathan Ake and Andreas Christensen in reserve but Rudiger could force the pair out on a short-term loan for the season.

Kurt Zouma is a younger version of an equally mature Rudiger but Zouma has been clearance to develop elsewhere; perhaps given Rudiger’s imminent arrival.

Conte has been looking for a strong, fearless and experienced international player to replace John Terry.

Although Conte would’ve preferred Bonucci, Rudiger is an equally experienced player, having experience in both the UEFA Champions and Europa League. His adaptability is also an aspect which speaks volumes of his training and development as a player cross-continents.

For Roma, he played across the back line playing at left and right back more than half of his appearances. Conte may want to play his as a centre-half, but if Ake and Christensen shine in training, Rudiger could be forced to play out wide.

Defensive statistics of 83.8% passing accuracy in the Serie A shows that he has stable decision-making which is vital in pressure pot situations. Making an average of 3 clearances a game, Rudiger helped to springboard Roma to second place in the Serie A, only conceding 38 goals in the process.

Chelsea’s defensive record was not the best in the last season, with teams such as Tottenham and Manchester United conceding fewer.

Despite a successful campaign for Conte, he feels bolstering the back four with Rudiger will lead to greater regional and international prosperity.

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