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Chelsea Transfer News: Why Andre Schurrle Signing Didn't Make Sense for Blues

GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 23:  Andre Schuerrle of Germany attends a press conference at the Germany press centre on June 23, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2013

There are huge expectations with Jose Mourinho returning to Chelsea this season, and this summer seemingly should be a busy one, with the Special One rebuilding this team in his desired image once again. 

And that's why it's a bit surprising that the only major signing for Chelsea thus far is forward Andre Schurrle, a player that doesn't even seem to fit any major needs for Chelsea. 

From Dominic Fifield of the Guardian:

The 22-year-old, who will wear the No. 14 shirt, has signed a five-year contract after Chelsea reached an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month at a fee of around £18.7m. The paperwork has now been completed on the deal, with Schurrle eager to make an impact at his new club.

"I think we have a great team with some very talented young players," he said. "We can all improve ourselves, and under José Mourinho I'm confident we can have a really great season.

For this club, winning titles is always the main objective. We have a great young team with so much quality. We are capable of doing well in the Premier League, Champions League and the cup competitions as well, and I hope to play a big part."

Schurrle may be eager to make an impact at Chelsea, but where will he do so? Will he play on the wing, where the Blues already have players like Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar and Victor Moses capable of playing in the wide position?

Will he slot into the hole behind the striker, where either Mata, Oscar or Frank Lampard are capable of playing? Or will he play as the center forward, where his pace and excellent defensive work rate might be a bit wasted?

It's a pretty big question for Chelsea, a team that's biggest need is clearly adding an elite striker. Schurrle is certainly talented, but was he really worth the money when it doesn't even seem as though he's guaranteed a starting spot in this lineup? 

He played on the left side for Bayer Leverkusen, but Hazard has that spot on lockdown. That means he would either have to shift to the right side and displace Oscar or Mata or play as a second striker, altering Chelsea's formation from a season ago. 

It's a bit of a pickle for Mourinho, even if it's not the worst pickle in the world to have given Schurrle's talent. 

Schurrle has been very good since joining Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 23 goals and adding 12 assists in all competitions over the past two seasons. He's a two-way player and a force on the counter-attack, and his finishing continues to improve as he grows older. 

But again, who will he replace in Chelsea's starting lineup? Is he really all that better than Kevin de Bruyne, who apparently is now staying at Stamford Bridge?

Sorry, Chelsea fans, but the Schurrle signing continues to look more like a redundant signing rather than a game-changer for next season. The Blues have their fair share of needs, but Schurrle doesn't seem to remedy any of them.

 

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