Antonio Rüdiger, who arrived at Chelsea from Roma for £29 million in the summer transfer window, has settled in quite quickly at his new club. The German defender has been one of the best signings by the Blues this season as Álvaro Morata, Tiemoué Bakayoko, Ross Barkley et al have disappointed either because of their performances on the pitch or their inability to actually get fit in order to play.
Antonio Rüdiger in Serie A over the past two seasons:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 4, 2017
84.9% pass acc.
185 long balls
87 aerial duels won
66 tackles won pic.twitter.com/7A6Soiudo6
Rüdiger’s purchase was met with scepticism as even though his quality was never in doubt, his injury history was far from ideal. Thankfully, he seems to have put these fitness problems behind him as the centre-back has stayed injury free all season, starting 31 times for Chelsea thus far across all competitions. Overall, it has been a good season for our friendly giant and a trophy would definitely be the icing on the cake — something which he definitely agrees.
“Yes, definitely, it doesn’t matter what the competition is, if you have the chance to win a trophy you have to go for it. We want to reach Wembley but before that we must go to Leicester, give it our best and try to win the game.”
“Barcelona is in the past now. We have to look forward. The FA Cup is still on for us, we have to go for it and that starts today.”
Indeed, we must look forward and we must charge on as the end of the season draws near. However, the road to FA Cup isn’t going to be easy as teams such as (serial spenders) Manchester United and (serial bottlers) Tottenham are still in it, both of whom play today. But first on Sunday we need to take on Leicester City who are no longer in the form that carried them towards a Premier League title, much thanks to selling N’Golo Kanté to us (thanks btw). Still, they can be tricky opponents to face in a cup tie at their home ground.
“First of all, it’s going to be a battle. Leicester will try to give us a tough time and we will have to be mentally strong but we won’t be looking for excuses.”
“Yes, we played a few days ago and of course there may be some tiredness, but we have to go there and show the right mentality.”
“I think now it’s very important, the last two months will be crucial for us and every player has to try to be a leader by speaking both on and off the pitch. I just try to be myself, give my best and try to help my team-mates.”
Since losing John Terry and Diego Costa in the same transfer window, Chelsea have been crying out for leaders. Rüdiger, for everything he’s shown this season, could be one of our players to successfully step up and fill this void.
And speaking of Rüdiger being successful, the defender was nominated for German Football Ambassador award which is an honour recognising players and coaches for their exemplary commitment and positive representation while working abroad. In true Rüdiger-fashion, his response focused more on Chelsea and the German national team rather focusing on his individual accomplishments. A team player!
“For me it’s nice, a big honour. But if I’m able to help Chelsea, and my national team, that means more to me than any individual awards.”
-Antonio Rudiger; Source: Chelsea FC
Glenn Coco Antonio!