At 1.90 cm tall and 85 kilo, Antonio Rüdiger seems to possess the physique du role of a menacing centerback. I will be the first to admit that when I read Antonio Rüdiger name, I could not help but imagine that Rudi Garcia and Gervinho would love to have him on board, if not just for them to see Rudi + Ger on one jersey... just imagine how many jerseys the two of them would buy! I could imagine the scene looking a little like this, with a few porompompero's here and there from Rudi... I don't know about you, but even my hairline is receding at the mere thought of that! But would this be an effective fit for AS Roma?
Here's a video to provide everyone with a bit of context about Ol' Rudi-Ger in case you did not follow the dungeon of Bundesliga last year:
Why This Move Makes Sense
But what do we know about Rudiger? Well, he is a tall, tall guy, coming in at 3.5 Iturbes-tall (6'3''). A youth product of Borussia Dortmund, he is one of the lesser known players of the new generation being thrown onto the German national team spectrum. The main reason for this is that he is very agile—especially for his size— aggressive and comfortable with the ball at his feet.
With 66 appearances and 2 goals for Stuttgart, he came into his own last year. RudiGer(vais) took part in 21 matches and got his first taste of international action with the German national team. He was the lone bright spot to a severely underwhelming Stuttgart side that barely staved off relegation.
He shrugged off past advances from Monaco, which was willing to meet Stuttgart's €15 million Euro buyout clause, because of his desire to "help Stuttgart return to the top." In times where footballers are increasingly becoming less loyal than mercenaries, you cannot help but appreciate words like these, especially coming from a U21. We also know that A.R. 16 is an unbelievable nickname (his number when called up by Germany; on Stuttgart it was 24), though it would certainly have to be modified if he joined the Giallorossi. Plus, his being German would finally allow us to not worry about the damnéd non-EU play slots.
Why This Move Doesn't Make Sense
There were glimpses of real talent, but he is by no means a finished product. A.R. 16 seems to rely too heavily on his build, and not as much on his brain at times. He has built up a knack for having lapses in concentration and showing football IQ that is, at best, a work-in-progress. To be fair, this is a trait seen across the board with young defenders and should not be too much of a long-term concern.The problem is that Serie A is an über-tactical league, one where football IQ goes an especially long way. Do you think he would be able to overcompensate with sheer strength what he lacks in defensive intelligence?
Additionally, he had minor surgery on his knee in July that will keep him sidelined until September at least, so he would miss all pre-campionato training with his new teammates while rehabbing his injury. Lastly, could the language barrier only further hinder his football IQ in Serie A, the league with, in my opinion, the greatest reliance on meticulous tactics across the top-flights of Europe?
(Updated) Likelihood: 6.5/10
Intel from Gazzetta dello Sport, usually as reliable as an umbrella in space, indicates we are looking to offer something in the ballpark of €10-12 million. Stuttgart is asking for €16. If you had asked me two weeks ago I would have said we needed to use that money elsewhere, ideally on Bruno Peres. But fast-forward to today, and with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Alessio Romagnoli ( who I will refer to as The Shame of Anzio/T.S.A. until the wound heals) both gone, we are lacking solid options to provide depth at center-back, unless we drop Daniele De Rossi down to centerback when necessary.
Though positivity seems to be free-flowing regarding the return to form of our very own Leandro Castán, we are one injury away from oblivion in the back. Our favorite chain-smoker, Walter Sabatini, has been attempting to get Stuttgart to lower his asking price to €10-12 million max. It is quite a Catch-22 from my end; this kid has a world of talent, but I'm not sure if that would translate on the field. It very well could, and it may leave us with a gaping hole if we ever needed him to step up for Kostas Manolas, Castan or DDR.