Antonio Conte has been at Stamford Bridge for barely over a year, but he’s already made an impact beyond just results on the pitch. In addition to leading Chelsea to a record number of wins and a league title that looked unlikely, to say the least, at this time last year, Conte has made three-man defenses fashionable once again in England, helped Chelsea acquire the most impactful player in the Premier League in N’Golo Kanté, and has overseen, in general, the final leg of the transition from the Old Guard to the new.
In the process, he’s also revitalized the careers of David Luiz, Pedro, and Nemanja Matić while completely reinventing a certain Victor Moses from a forgotten item on the balance sheet to a key player as Chelsea’s starting right wing-back. Conte was widely recognized for his impact, and such stories and success don’t go unnoticed by other players either.
Chelsea’s newest center back, Antonio Rüdiger is hoping to reap similar rewards from Conte’s Midas touch.
“Not to be disrespectful, but when you speak about Roma and Chelsea, Chelsea is a big club. Roma is a big club too ... in Italy, but I think Chelsea is a different level.”
"Of course, for me the biggest reason [to move to Chelsea] was the Coach, Antonio Conte. He’s a fantastic Coach. He improved a lot of players, like last season Moses and Alonso. They had a great season and I that’s why I said I want to be a part of that."
-Antonio Rüdiger; source: BeIn Sports via Football Italia
Playing for a big club like Chelsea is already good enough incentive for most players. But the opportunity to work under Conte has now swung the balance of a transfer in Chelsea’s favor at least a couple times and hopefully that will continue for a long time.