With no hint of uncertainty, Marko Marin has thus far failed to live up to previous expectation. Where he was once a potential golden boy of German football, he is now looking to restart his career on a different and unfamiliar platform. There was a time when Marin was destined for a similar path as his former team-mate Mesut Ozil, with many of Europe’s top guns taking up attacking stances in his pursuit. Instead, Marin is reeling off the back of a greatly disappointing season at Werder Bremen, hoping to forget the misery that brought him only 1 goal and a string of below par performances.
Chelsea’s signing of Marin really did materialise out of nowhere. The once hotly pursued German no longer had a courtyard full of potential suitors, but instead just a solitary club willing to take the gamble. And that is the situation with Marin at the moment; he is very much a gamble, even at £6.5 million. What does he bring to a Chelsea side who are spending heavily and ambitiously? Most importantly, however, what does he bring to a club that are well-stocked in Marin’s favoured position?
At this stage is does appear that Marin was bought to add depth, but a specific level of depth and the leaning towards a particular type of player. Yes Marin’s star might not glow as brightly as it once did, but he still possesses the characteristics of a tricky midfield winger, and one who is able to impose himself on a game if positioned correctly in the team.
His role at Bremen changed recently from the open spaces of the flanks to the central areas of tight-marking and confusion. His time in his new role was disappointing and not in keeping with the performances he had shown from wide positions in previous years. Marin may be looked at as a good piece of business by Chelsea, and in a way it is; landing a previously highly coveted player for what equates to peanuts in today’s market. However, the German may be taking a real risk with his career. He had signed before Eden Hazard even gave a suggestion that he was willing to move to West London, while the club’s pursuit of Hulk has only really intensified in the summer months.
So where does Marin fit in from here? Again, he will provide good back up and the right ability to continue in the on-field tactics that suits the new arrivals at Chelsea. But his time on the pitch will surely be limited. With Juan Mata likely to take up a central position and Eden Hazard excelling from the left flank, where does Marin come into play? We can keep coming back to the issue of a good piece of business to strengthen the squad, but there is a very real possibility that Marin could be forgotten amidst the excitement surrounding Chelsea’s newer arrivals.
Marin’s international career is not doing him any favours, either. The midfielder has really not played a significant role in the current German revolution and was rightly overlooked for the this summer’s Euros. A bonus is that he can claim to be a product of the current German production line, but where is the recent evidence from which to invest any real belief?
Chelsea’s decision to sign Marin at the time they did was a good move; the club really had no guarantees that they’d be in this position of strength when they approached Bremen for his services, and the likelihood was that he’d have much more of a role to play in the team. Picking himself up after last season was always a priority, as was moving away from Bremen and perhaps Germany altogether. But a greater role in a smaller club would have been the ideal move for Marin, where his immediate future was certain and there was greater clarity in his route back into the German national side.
Where the gamble is notably low-risk from the point of view of the European champions, Marin really needs to be sure of swimming rather than sinking for the good of his career.