In a recent report, Sport has revealed that Barcelona have identified Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger as a January target if they miss out on Manchester City’s Eric Garcia during the winter transfer window. It is believed that the German international ‘would be delighted’ with a chance to seal a move to the Nou Camp in January (via Sport).
Rudiger’s Growing Frustrations At Stamford Bridge This Season
The 27-year-old has been a sporadic presence in Frank Lampard’s match-day squad and is currently surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. The summer arrival of Thiago Silva has seen Rudiger move down Lampard’s pecking order, so the German should be eager to part ways with the Blues this winter in search of greener pastures.
The Berlin-born defensive ace has featured in just two matches for the west London giants this term, receiving a total of 112 minutes of game time so far. Both of his appearances have come in the UEFA Champions League group stages where Chelsea are yet to concede a goal this season.
Despite being out for a long time with a groin injury, Rudiger was a far more prominent feature in Lampard’s first-team last season when he scored two goals in 28 appearances and averaged 1.4 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 2.8 clearances per game in the Premier League. He was even quite neat and tidy with his ball-distribution after completing 86.8% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).
What Will The German International Bring To The Nou Camp?
Standing at 1.90m, Rudiger has got the strength and aggression to command his penalty area with authority and conviction. He can also make some well-timed tackles to earn the ball back for his side and boasts outstanding defensive awareness to make a few crucial clearances as well inside his half. The 36-time German international is proficient at playing his way out from the back. However, he is prone to making some avoidable errors when he is not playing with confidence on the pitch.
Should Barca Get Rudiger On Board In January?
The Catalans currently have Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araújo vying for a place in Koeman’s starting XI week in week out. Hence, Barca can benefit from adding more competition for them in January.
Rudiger fits the bill perfectly as he will enhance the quality of Koeman’s defensive department at the Nou Camp. At 27, he has plenty of time left in him to play at a high level which Barca could look to capitalise on in the years to come. With all things considered, Koeman will do well to arrange a cut-price move to bring Rudiger to Catalonia at the start of next year.