Jose Mourinho’s first signing of the summer could prove to be his very best as Andre Schurrle prepares to dazzle Stamford Bridge.
Outsiders may baulk at the £18 million paid for what many describe as an “unproven” talent, but at 22 years old, this German international is made for the EPL.
Schurrle joins a squad already stacked with quality, yet still searching for real consistency at the domestic level.
Not since Didier Drogba have Chelsea had a finisher who is equally accomplished both inside and outside the box.
But that’s exactly what the German international brings to the table.
Although he can play as centre-forward, Schurrle is most effective on the left-hand side of a front three, cutting inside at any given opportunity.
With Mata, Hazard and Oscar set to provide the supporting cast to Chelsea’s front two or three, the youngster will have plenty of opportunities to use his pace and power to unlock defences.
And with the versatility he possesses, Mourinho will see the forward as a secret weapon that is little known to EPL teams.
Similarities can be drawn to the effectiveness of Michu last season. Although the transfer fee is vastly different, the unknown quantity will definitely be a huge plus.
As with Michu, he comes from another European country, which certainly helps with the lifestyle change.
International footballers from the likes of South America, Africa and Asia often take more time, sometimes a season, to adapt to EPL life both on and off the pitch—Rafael da Silva being a prime example.
The fact that Schurrle is already comfortable with a Westernized lifestyle should put the forward in good stead despite his young age.
In recent years, the Bundesliga has arguably become the strongest league in Europe, with Bourissia Dortmund and Bayern Munich showcasing the nation so impressively in last year’s Champions League Final.
And yet, there still seems to be a lack of transfers from Germany to the EPL, although this is also a reason for the country’s success at the club and international levels.
It is no coincidence that the last German player to make a significant impact in the EPL was Michael Ballack at Chelsea.
And the fact that the ex-Chelsea star had a strong influence (via The Telegraph) in the youngster’s decision to move to West London can only bode well for both player and club.
Looking at the main contenders for the title, Chelsea are the only team to improve in the areas they needed to strengthen, with Schurrle being the main addition.
Manchester United’s summer chase for Cesc Fabregas looks to have been fruitless, leaving United short in an ineffective midfield that desperately needed to improve.
And a potentially less focused Wayne Rooney, who may or may not be on his way to Chelsea, has to be a worrying problem for new boss David Moyes.
Arsenal have two big needs—a goalkeeper and a striker. With all this reported money available to spend, they have yet to sign a player in either position.
Too much time looks to have been spent in pursuit of Luis Suarez, a deal that looks more unlikely by the day.
Manchester City have a new manager, another group of fresh signings and little time to gel despite the quality on show.
Expect a strong second-half run from the Citizens, but ultimately, they will have too much to do after another slow start to the season.
The balance just seems to be right for Chelsea under a manager who feels like he’s back home.
And Schurrle will be that MVP player who provides the catalyst to the Blues being able to lift the EPL title once again.