Andre Schurrle: Is the German Really Needed at Chelsea?

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Andre Schurrle of Bayer Leverkusen during the pre season friendly match between Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen at Anfield on August 12, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

It’s a natural tendency in any walk of life to follow fashions, but what’s in demand today is very much tomorrow’s past trend.

Football is no different, and we’ve seen it far too many times to mention. Where Serie A dominated European competition in the '90s, clubs across the continent coveted the stars from Italy’s leading clubs. And with the dominance of Spain in the early part of the 21st century, so too a craving for the talent pool on the Iberian Peninsula ensued—more so than ever before.

Bayern Munich’s 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday wasn’t as much of a turning point in the shift of power in the modern game, but the result did confirm what many have long suspected: For the next few years or so, Germany will probably be leading the way where club football is concerned.

With so much young talent on display in the Bundesliga right now, it’s hardly a surprise that Europe’s top clubs are desperate to get in on the act.

With the apparently imminent capture of 22-year-old German forward Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen (via Daily Mail), it seems Chelsea are no different.

There’s no doubting Schurrle’s talent, but is he needed at Stamford Bridge? Given all we have seen from Chelsea this term, one must question the wisdom in the Blues’ pursuit of the Leverkusen man.

The 2012-13 season has been as painful as it has been enjoyable for Chelsea supporters, being one of development on the pitch. The Blues have continued their transition from the football juggernaut created under Jose Mourinho to their more free-flowing recent style.

Yet for all of Chelsea’s struggles—with an interim manager to oversee the process—the team’s development in attack has been one of the highlights

The rise of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata as key players at Stamford Bridge means that with emerging talents such as Lucas Piazon, the Blues suddenly find themselves with an embarrassment of riches up front.

It’s perhaps a touch naive to suggest that Schurrle operates in the exact same way as the aforementioned trio, but it’s equally difficult to justify—or see the benefit of—his inclusion in breaking up the “Three Amigos” and deny others coming through.

The additions Chelsea require in the close season are in other areas—namely a striker to ease the burden on Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, as well as a defensive midfielder to bolster their ranks in the middle of the pitch.

They’ve been some way off the pace in the title race, but strengthening those areas will see the Blues run Manchester United far closer next year.

Whether Chelsea’s required additions are graduates from the club’s successful academy team—a team that reached the NextGen Series final and FA Youth Cup this year—remains to be seen.

Indeed, bringing in Schurrle—for all his talents—would suggest otherwise. The German is a player of undoubted ability, one known for his craft outside the box and for creating chances for his teammates. He isn’t the 20-goal-a-season striker the Blues crave, though—and what he brings, they already have in abundance.

One possible theory is that the Blues have seen enough to suggest he can become that man. However, rumors of Atletico Madrid’s prolific Colombian Falcao being signed (via The Express) refuse to go away, and with so much other talent out there, why risk signing a player unproven through the middle?

On the face of it, Schurrle’s expected arrival in West London raises more questions than it answers.

What do you think? Is Schurrle the right fit at Chelsea?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or via Twitter @garryhayes