That’s what talkSPORT.com wanted to know and here, Roma fan Matteo Ciampani kindly answered a few of our questions.
What sort of player have Chelsea bought in Antonio Rudiger?
Toni is probably one of the best young defenders in Europe. Even if he has to improve technically, from a physical point of view he is a beast. He is very exuberant, aggressive and fast, loves to tackle (especially sliding tackles) and always looks very confident on the pitch – sometimes too confident.
His style of playing is definitely suitable for the English Premier League and under Conte he can really become one of the best. On the other hand, like all those modern defenders who dominate their opponents thanks to extraordinary athletic and physical talents, Rudiger may have some problems facing players with great progression like his former team-mate, Mohamed Salah. Do not expect him to be a playmaker, as passing skills are not his strength, but his attitude and willing to give everything on the pitch could make him a fan favourite.
However, Chelsea may need to be a bit patient, as he may need a bit of time to adapt to the new league, which is significantly different from Serie A.
Which position did he play in most at Roma? Where can he play in a back three?
At AS Roma he played in different positions from a central defender in [former manager Rudi] Garcia’s 4-3-3 formation to a right-back (like he does in the German national team) and even at left-back in a few games under [Luciano] Spalletti. He really can play in all four defensive positions and even as a fifth on the right.
The positions where he played most and with better results, are on the right or left in a back three.
Has he changed much since moving from Germany?
Definitely. Two different countries, two different types of football and he had to adapt. It took time and in his first months, he really struggled. He made stupid mistakes that cost Roma important points. Because of that, many football experts and most of the fans judged him not good enough for Roma, but he worked hard becoming one of the best defenders in the league.
And there was also another serious injury in between. Serie A is incredibly challenging for a defender, in which, to be successful, you have to first to improve tactically and Rudiger did very well. Luciano Spalletti was key in making him what he is now.
I am sure most of the Roma fans would have preferred him to stay instead of [Kostas] Manolas.
Are you pleased with the players Roma have signed?
I trust Monchi. While most of the fans are complaining because important players like Salah, Leandro Paredes and Rudiger, plus Francesco Totti left and think next season will be a failure, I see the bigger picture: 22 ‘starters’ instead of 13-14 very good players and a bench not at the same level. That is why I am satisfied with [Maxime] Gonalons (Lyon’s former captain), [Hector] Moreno (Mexico’s captain), [Rick] Karsdorp, and especially Lorenzo Pellegrini joining the team.
Now more players will be added to the squad, including young talents like Cengiz Ünder (who was supposed to join Manchester City and is considered the ‘Turkish Dybala’), but we hope to see at least a world famous player signing with AS Roma, to keep being a contender for the title and bring back enthusiasm among the Romanisti.
Matteo is from AS Roma UK, a large group of fans who meet in London every week during the season to watch their beloved team play.