07262017

Antonio Rudiger: Chelsea sign Roma defender for a reported initial fee of £29m

Antonio Rudiger helped Germany win the Confederations Cup in Russia

Antonio Rudiger helped Germany win the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia

Premier League champions Chelsea have signed Roma and Germany defender Antonio Rudiger on a five-year contract for a reported initial fee of £29m.

Rudiger, 24, completed the transfer a week after helping Germany win the Confederations Cup in Russia.

“It’s a great feeling because not every player has the opportunity to join a huge club like this,” said Rudiger.

Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said: “He is a player of proven quality.”

Rudiger will take over the number two shirt left vacant after Branislav Ivanovic’s departure to Zenit St Petersburg in February.

“I am looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and I’m very proud to officially become a Chelsea player,” he added.

The rise and rise of Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger was part of Borussia Dortmund’s youth team before moving to Stuttgart in 2011.

He made his Bundesliga debut in January 2012 and made 66 appearances in Germany’s top flight before moving to Roma in 2015.

Rudiger made the first of his 17 appearances for Germany in 2014 but was ruled out of Euro 2016 after tearing cruciate knee ligaments.

Last season, he helped Roma finish runners-up in Serie A.

‘Dad I want Rudiger!’

Chelsea continued a summer trend among Premier League clubs by announcing the signing with an elaborate video on their Twitter feed.

In the video, a young boy visiting Chelsea’s club shop asks his dad for a shirt with Rudiger’s name on the back.

His dad tells him he can’t have the name of a player Chelsea haven’t signed and recommends David Luiz or Eden Hazard instead.

“Dad I want Rudiger!” says the boy, to which the shop assistant goes into a stock room and asks the player, wearing a number two Chelsea shirt, if that’s OK.

“No problem,” says the German defender. “I’m a Chelsea player now.”

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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