West Ham United fans tuning into Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifying clash between Poland and Germany may have just caught a glimpse of the Irons’ next big signing – though it may not have been a performance to fill Hammers fans with much confidence.
A product of the VfB Stuttgart academy, 21-year-old Antonio Rudiger has emerged as transfer hot property in recent months, with his Bundesliga employers previously rejecting a bid of €15 million from AS Monaco for the defender.
"In the summer we received many requests from Monaco, Porto, West Ham United - and not only them," he said.
"But now he must focus only on Stuttgart and respect his contract: here he is happy and in recent years has improved a lot."
With reports continuing to link highly-rated Hammers defender and New Zealand international Winston Reid with a move to the likes of Liverpool or Arsenal, Sam Allardyce could look to rekindle the club’s interest in Rudiger come January.
He would be wise to continue scouting the 21-year-old, however, after a largely indifferent showing for Die Mannschaft in their shock 2-0 loss to Poland.
That result was Germany’s first competitive defeat in 18 games and the first time Poland have beaten the national side.
Deployed out of position at right-back Rudiger did little to cover himself in glory, with the Germany defense ultimately conceding goals from their opponents only two attempts on goal.
He could be given another chance to impress, however, when Die Mannschaft meet the Republic of Ireland this week.