Andre Schurrle’s World Cup paralleled his debut campaign in the Premier League.
Joining Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, it took a while for the German to settle and find his place around the bigger names who occupy the Stamford Bridge dressing room.
Come May, however, Schurrle’s influence was significant, scoring vital goals against the likes of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Schurrle also hit his first hat-trick for the club against Fulham before terrorizing Arsenal’s back line in the Blues’ 6-0 thrashing of the Gunners in March.
At Brazil 2014, it continued, his influence guiding Germany to their reclaimed status as world champions.
Mario Gotze’s brilliance may have sealed victory over Argentina in the World Cup final, yet it was a moment born from Schurrle’s craft.
It was Chelsea’s No. 14 who exploited the flanks against Alejandro Sabella’s side, driving forward late on into extra time to deliver a pinpoint cross for Gotze to swivel and produce his magic.
There were other moments when it could have been Schurrle winning it for Germany, forcing Sergio Romero into an excellent save when connecting with a cut-back.
Indeed, even before the final, Schurrle had left his mark on the World Cup.
When Germany struggled to break down a resilient Algeria in the last 16, it was Schurrle who broke the deadlock just two minutes into extra time before Mesut Ozil scored the decisive second goal at the death.
Against Brazil, Schurrle capped off a record-breaking evening in Belo Horizonte with a brace in the second half to give Germany a 7-1 victory over the hosts.
Had his second—Germany's seventh—won the game or been of more importance, it would have undoubtedly been mentioned in the same breath as the other fine goals scored in South America this summer.
We witnessed more than a German victory in the Maracana on Sunday—we saw a boy break free of his shackles and enter the realms of stardom, taking the rite of passage offered to so many but seized by few.
From super sub for club and country, Schurrle is much more these days.
The Chelsea midfielder stood before a global audience this summer to demonstrate his time has come, strengthening the prophetic talents of his manager.
“[He] will be better year after year,” Jose Mourinho said last summer when discussing Schurrle and the other youthful talents he has at his disposal, per ESPN.
Schurrle has undoubtedly lived up to that billing, and suddenly Chelsea find themselves with a gem firmly in their grasp—one more precious and valuable than when the curtain fell on 2013/14.
Super sub? Drop the latter and add star, as Schurrle's billing is only in the ascendancy.
Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes