Chelsea defender Toni Rudiger concedes he was in constant dialogue with Timo Werner throughout lockdown period in order to persuade him to move to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues announced a deal for the signing of the striker just last week, seeing off competition from Liverpool and other clubs in the process.
Werner had looked destined to join the Reds but Jurgen Klopp says the club couldn’t spend such a huge amount on one player during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as they are making cuts elsewhere.
That opened the door to Chelsea and Lampard’s side wasted no time in getting a deal done for the Germany international.
However, Werner still needed some persuading and Rudiger, who is an international team-mate and former club team-mate, says he spoke to him about a move to the London side.
‘Like everyone, I’m very excited that he’s chosen Chelsea and I’m looking forward to working with him,’ Rudiger told Chelsea’s website.
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‘I’ve known him since he was 17 and he did very good in the past few years. He can be very important for us.
‘I did speak to him before because we have known each other for a long time,’ said Rudiger. ‘We spoke a lot during the lockdown and he told me he was interested in coming to England. Of course then I did my bit, what I had to do.
‘I would say he’s a quiet, humble guy, always ready to do better,’ Rudiger added of Werner’s personality off the pitch. ‘I hope he adapts very quickly when he comes because as we all know this competition is different than others.’
Rudiger added: ‘His [Werner’s] development was just “wow”. In his first season everything was new for him in men’s football but then he started scoring more goals and of course with that comes confidence. He had very good coaches who believed in him and worked with him.
‘He’s a really big threat to defenders. RB Leipzig is a more counter-attacking team but in terms of attacking the defensive line, he’s similar to Vardy. He has a lot of pace and if the defender makes a mistake and loses the ball, then he goes!’