Antonio Rudiger’s move to Premier League champions is the most recent in a list of Roma players leaving the Italian club this summer.
Roma has proven to be a steady performer in the Serie A in recent years. Usually only slightly off Juventus’ pace, Roma always seems to battle for top honors in one of the world’s best leagues. However, if you are a fan of the club, now may be the time to worry.
Or at least get ready for the beginning of a new era for the club. While it is true that a host of new players is set to arrive at the clubs, perhaps the departures are really what stick out when it comes to the club’s preparations for the new season. Mohamed Salah was sold to Liverpool, Leandro Paredes is moving to Zenit, Francesco Totti has retired from the team and may be moving to Japan, and now Antonio Rudiger is packing his bags for England. According to Transfermarkt the club has had more than €104 million coming the club’s way through the sale of players. Following the purchase of new players, Roma is still currently more than €60 million ahead in terms of profit.
This is Chelsea’s biggest (and thus far only significant) transfer of the summer. It’s well known by now that a point of contention between manager Antonio Conte and the club’s board was represented by the lack of important additions to the team. Roma commanded a hefty price for Rudiger. Chelsea agreed to pay €35 million upfront, with an additional €4m that may be added as bonuses.
Rudiger seemed very pleased with the move, praising the British side’s reputation: “It’s a great feeling because not every player has the opportunity to join a huge club like this. I am looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and I’m very proud to officially become a Chelsea player.”
It will be interesting to see how Rudiger fares in the Premier League, a competition where teams with good defensive discipline have thrived in recent years. Chelsea’s winning side of last year was built around a system of three defenders, Azpilicueta, Cahill and Luiz. Rudiger is also used to a three-man defensive system as was used at Roma and he has proven competent throughout.
It now remains to be seen if Roma is done with the sale of its players for the time being and if Chelsea will make Antonio Conte happy by bringing in some new faces. Alex Sandro and Tiemoue Bakayoko are said to be high on Conte’s list, although it is unclear how much progress has been made in this regard.