This offseason, many clubs have been trying to get creative in announcing new signings, such as Romelu Lukaku announcing his signing with Manchester United in a video with his friend Paul Pogba. The latest such announcement comes from Chelsea, which posted a video on Twitter that essentially revealed Antonio Rudiger, a German footballer of Sierra Leonean, had signed with them. In the video, a father and son enter the Chelsea gift shop at the team’s headquarters. The child asks for a new Chelsea jersey with Rudiger’s name on the back, even after the shopkeeper tries to convince the child to get a David Luiz or Eden Hazard jersey. The shopkeeper proceeds to go to the stockroom and finds Rudiger, and then asks him if it’s OK by him. Rudiger then responds, “No problem, I’m a Chelsea player now,” therefore announcing the signing.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 9, 2017
Rudiger signs a five year, 34 million pound contract with Chelsea after playing with AS Roma for the past two seasons, and with VfB Stuttgart for three years before then. As a defender, he didn’t score any goals last season, but 2016-17 was deemed a successful campaign regardless for Rudiger. He was also on the starting lineup of Germany’s 2017 Confederations Cup squad. Despite his experience, Rudiger is still just 24 years old and has room to grow. He is usually praised for his above average athleticism for a defender, with improvements in vision.
As part of the move, Kurt Zouma is expected to be loaned out to another club to make room for Rudiger on the starting lineup. Zouma, a Frenchman with parents from the Central African Republic, recovered from a knee injury and made 11 appearances for the Blues last season. Even before Rudiger’s signing, it was talked about that Zouma might need to get first team reps with another club before Chelsea felt comfortable returning him as a permanent fixture on their own team.