Antonio Rudiger was slightly taken aback when he discovered that Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were eager to join Chelsea.
Speaking to Chelsea TV, Rudiger was asked to comment about the debut campaigns of his two German compatriots.
Werner and Havertz both arrived from the Bundesliga last summer, with high expectations to match their price tags.
As first season’s go, its been a slightly underwhelming for the pair, who haven’t been without their problems in the past eight months.
Havertz was struck down with covid19, plus a couple of injuries, whilst Werner’s woes were much more on field related.
Rudiger, who knew the duo well from the national side, was a little stunned after hearing his comrades were on their way to Chelsea.
“I get on very well with them,” said the defender about Werner and Havertz.
“I was surprised when they told me they want to come here and out of Germany.
“Especially with Kai, because he is 21 years old. I could have expected more with Timo because he’s 25. With Kai, this was a huge step. I respect them both for it.”
Home away from home
Although very few can reject when Chelsea comes calling, the timing of Havertz and Werner’s arrival couldn’t have been less ideal.
Both moved from their native land whilst the world was still heavily being affected by the pandemic.
Neither could really socialise with their teammates outside of training or matches. Nor could they explore London properly.
“When you come to England or a foreign country in general, it’s never easy because you need to adapt,” continued Rudiger, voicing empathy for his two colleges.
“For me, they have done quite well. At the beginning they had difficulties, which is normally.
“Both are trying very hard. They are young guys. Hopefully they can kick on next season even better then what they are doing now at the end.”
Getting the German’s into gear
Werner has probably slightly edged Havertz in terms of performances and statistics this year.
The speedy centre-forward managed 27 goals and assists in 51 appearances, compared to 17 goals and assists in 44 appearances for Havertz.
Chelsea will hope the best is still to come from their talented duet, who have a European Championships coming up to help regain some confidence.