A glance at Andre Schürrle

Germany Press Conference - UEFA EURO 2012

André Schürrle is Mourinho’s first signing of his second reign at Chelsea and is part of a new Chelsea vision and a new chapter in the club’s history. This signing marks the beginning of a building process in which dreams will be turned into reality, and which will allow Mourinho to create a new, young and dynamic Chelsea team.

As a newcomer Schürrle is fortunate to be part of a team that is overflowing with talent, including its manager, and in which he is sure to make a name for himself.

Schürrle is not the most well-known, high-profile superstar that we would have expected to be Mourinho’s first signing but that really takes nothing away from the fact that he is the perfect addition to this team. This signing shows the faith that Chelsea F.C. has in him and that he was chosen to be part of the club’s future. Schürrle is highly-rated and bursting with tons of potential. He was a long-term target for the club, and even though this was in the pipeline long before Mourinho’s official return, Mourinho gave his approval and the rest was history.

Who is André Schürrle?

Schürrle is a 22 year old German international who has been a Bayer Leverkusen player for the last two seasons. An attacking midfielder who plays mainly on the left wing or in the central striking position, what makes him an asset for any team is that he likes to cut inside from a left-winger position, and trust me, he is brilliant at it! Bayer Leverkusen had a successful 2012/2013 season finishing third in the Bundesliga with 65 points, just 1 point behind Borussia Dortmund. Schürrle completed the season scoring 11 goals in 34 appearances.

One thing that is already obvious about Schürrle is that he is not just going to accept irregular playing time or sitting on the bench. He is adamant that he won’t fail like some others have in the past.  He has the drive and determination to be a success at Chelsea and to prove his critics wrong.

Since Schürrle’s debut for the German national team in 2010 he has scored 7 goals in 24 appearances. He does need to prove himself at Chelsea this coming season as his performance for the club does not just secure him a place in the team, but will also have an impact on whether or not he gets selected to play for Germany in next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

He has numerous outstanding qualities: he creates lightning-speed counter-attacks; he has brilliant dribbling and passing abilities; he’s athletic; he is not afraid to tackle and make interceptions; he will punish any weaknesses in his adversaries’ defence, and he is a good finisher. Schürrle has a good eye for goal and can score from a multitude of positions on the pitch. He always seems to be in the perfect position to receive the ball. One of his best attributes, and a threat for his adversaries, is that he can sprint long-distance on the counter-attack, and with his great stamina he can execute this to perfection.

On the flip side he can be inconsistent. At times he drifts in and out of the match; he has experienced periods of goal drought and can lose the ball easily against a well-organised defence and when he is closed down.  He does prefer having the space to play.  What he lacks in stature he makes up for in his speed and agility. In big matches he has been known to underperform.  It could be that he finds it overwhelming to deal with the pressure of a big game. This we will have to see.

Valencia CF v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League

What can we expect from this young German talent at Chelsea?

Chelsea is already overflowing with young, vibrant and dynamic talent. With the addition of Schürrle, and perhaps two or three more signings, Mourinho will be able to tweak the team in order to fill in the gaps where they are lacking and, in so doing, bring out the very best from his players. Let’s also keep in mind that Chelsea will be participating in the Champions League next season so player rotation will be crucial in order to keep the team fresh and focused. It helps to have someone like Schürrle who is so versatile and comfortable in various positions on the pitch.  Exhaustion did take its toll on the players last season, and it was noticeable in their last few matches.

Schürrle is one of Germany’s most versatile players and he is a great creator of chances. He is perfect for the ‘The Blues’.  I believe that he will have a specific role in this team. We can’t be too sure of exactly what Mourinho has in mind but what we do know is that Schürrle will bring an added dimension to Chelsea, something that they don’t already have. He has a brilliance of his own, which will accentuate and highlight what this team is all about.

The first thing Schürrle will do is open up the wings more, which is where the team is lacking.  His direct running style is what makes him unique, and he will bring this quality to the team. Chelsea already has a network of talent in their attacking players, and we have seen how perfectly synchronised they are. The team’s formation is tailor-made for Schürrle. He is intelligent and will find great inter-play with the superb attacking trio of Mata, Hazard and Oscar. On the other hand, he is also quite different from them.  He usually operates on the wings of the attacking players, which will make him feel right at home. He is lethal when he cuts into the area from the left wing, in this aspect he is similar to Moses.

There will certainly be rotation on the wings between himself and Hazard.  Both do prefer playing on the left wing, but I see them swapping between the left and right positions quite freely.  I’m sure that Mata will continue to occupy his position behind the striker as this is the most ideal place for him to be.  Mata has a lot to gain from Schürrle’s arrival – the attack will have more pace, speed and there will be much more creativity upfront.  The squad’s lack of counter-attack power, as we have witnessed time and time again, has had repercussions on the team in their attempts to create goal scoring chances.  Schürrle not only creates counter-attacks but he is usually also part of the build-up play.  This attack is bound to unsettle defenders, and will be unstoppable.

Schürrle’s versatility between the striker and winger roles makes him so attractive.  Chelsea’s attack has been suffering from inconsistency and it lacks the reliability that a top competitive team’s attack should have.  Schürrle can create a new option for Chelsea upfront and bring flair, strength and unpredictability to the attack.  There will also be less pressure on the strike force this time round.  He will assist Torres and Ba with his creative and clever passes. He can also play as a second forward if the need arises, which should make for interesting play alongside either of these two strikers.

Some critics believe that Schürrle can be selfish and, instead of passing the ball to teammates, he prefers to take the shot on goal himself.  Perhaps this is exactly what the team needs – someone who is not afraid to take responsibility and go for goal.  Last season we saw far too many short passes being made between players in front of goal, and many goal scoring opportunities were lost.  Schürrle will shake-up the attack and revolutionise it, that’s for sure!  Against organised defenders though, he can lose the ball easily and he’s not the best with one-on-one dribbling.  He prefers to operate where there is a lot of space and where he has the freedom of movement.

Mourinho is known to bring the best out in his players, and many of them relish in the opportunity to work with him.  Schürrle is one of these players.  He has said that he is looking forward to working with Mourinho, and that Mourinho is one of the reasons why he decided to come to Chelsea in the first place.  Who wouldn’t want this opportunity of a lifetime?

A shining example of young German home-grown talent Schürrle is definitely a player worth investing in.  He has taken the first step by coming to Chelsea F.C. and I am sure that this is just the beginning of his exciting and rewarding journey. These young bright Chelsea talents are the future of football.  They will continue to mesmerise us with their skills and abilities, and make football the wonderful sport that it is.

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