Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger
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Antonio Rudiger

Current Club: Chelsea.

Previous Clubs: AS Roma, VfB Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund.

Loan Clubs: AS Roma.

International: Germany 30 caps 1 goal.

Trophies Won: FA Cup 2018, Europa League 2018/19, Confederations Cup 2017.

Rudiger is what you call a physical defender, rather than a ball-playing centre-half. He is very quick off the mark, which gives him an edge over most centre-backs, who tend not to be that quick accelerating, even when they possess pace.

He also has pace and a very good leap, though aerially his heading is not the best in terms of direction, he can generally win a header. Rudiger is strong too and happy to draw a forward into a battle, as he can usually win them.

Positionally he is decent, in a back four, but he can be a little suspect in a back three, but Rudiger's pace means that he often will rely on that to get him out of trouble, rather than look to position himself correctly. On the ball he can be a little clumsy, he is highly unlikely to hit the long diagonal cross field pass that a Lewis Dunk or Virgil van Dijk can play regularly.

In fact, you really do not want him on the ball, it is not a Rudiger's style to want to get the ball and play out from the back. He can do it if there is the right movement and players giving him short options, but if he is under pressure he can often end up playing the team into trouble unless he just clears his lines.

The worry I particularly find when watching him is a lack of organisational skill, he does not seem to have that leadership skill that some other defenders have. With Chelsea's backline currently having a number of youngsters to play him alongside, he is not someone who will talk them through the game.

Rudiger will play his game, usually well, but he is not going to change a poor defensive set-up into a good one. He is someone who needs a good reader of the game alongside him to run the defence, rather than being the man to take charge and control the offside trap or sort out the set piece defensive system.

In essence the German is a very good, but also very limited player. Not necessarily a bad thing if the team around him is built to utilise his strengths rather than expose his limitations, however it can put a lot of pressure on his defensive partners at times. At the age of 26, he still has a lot of time to develop into a leader at the back.

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Written by Ed001 December 28 2019 20:56:19