Chelsea is set for an early dip into the market, with Bayer Leverkusen confirming that talks are well underway for the transfer of Andre Schurrle to the Premier League.
The Leverkusen forward is one of the bigger names from this exciting generation of German stars, playing a large role in propelling his side forward and threatening to break up the Bayern/Dortmund stranglehold at the top of the Bundesliga this season. With such a talent on their books, it’s hard to argue against this being a good signing.
But that’s the case for most teams, and not specifically with Chelsea. The Blues look to be continuing down this path of erratic business in the transfer market, and while I believe Schurrle will have a greater impact than Marko Marin should he arrive, it’s difficult to make sense of a signing that isn’t really needed.
On one hand, Schurrle will add depth to the scoring line as well as another body who works excellently from the wide positions, specifically the left flank. He’s an intelligent player in and around the box, and comes with a scoring threat that is only set to increase as he matures. The issue here is where does he come into the fold if Chelsea remain adamant that they’ll sign one of Europe’s top strikers?
Depth should not be an issue for the current Chelsea squad. Yet even if Kevin de Bruyne acts as part of the transfer going the over way to the Bay Arena, Chelsea will expect Romelu Lukaku back from West Brom and Lucas Piazon from Malaga this summer.
Chelsea’s interest in the player began when they didn’t have an attack as strong as they do now. Based on performances and confidence, it might be easy to say Schurrle would be an improvement on the stuttering Fernando Torres, but in terms of creativity and overall ability, where does it make sense to include the German in a squad that already features Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard? The fact that the club seem at this stage unwilling to sell Kevin de Bruyne suggests that they may be impressed by his developments at Werder Bremen. Following next season, the Belgian midfielder will act as just another name who can feature in similar roles to that of Schurrle.
The strength and potential strength of this Chelsea squad almost seems to undermine the quality and talent of Schurrle. This is a player who can make many teams in the Premier League much better in attack. His versatility and equal ability from a number of attacking positions means any side will benefit greatly, allowing for more options with formations. In his two seasons so far with Leverkusen, Schurrle has improved on his scoring figures, reaching double figures this campaign while playing primarily from the wide position. His work rate is also impressive, and he has struck up a very good attacking partnership this season with the team’s main scoring threat, Stefan Kiessling.
You have to imagine that due to his age, Schurrle is being brought in to eventually fill one of the striking roles exclusively. It’s a matter of the player improving his scoring rate and finishing immensely, as at the moment he still has a tendency to be wasteful. The increased profile of Chelsea also means Schurrle’s name will be prominent in discussions for the German starting XI. And while the current Leverkusen player isn’t a match for the individual and combined efforts of Mario Gotze and Marco Reus, Schurrle certainly has the talent to be up there with two of Germany’s finest.
Take into account Financial Fair Play and what Chelsea really need. As mentioned, De Bruyne may eventually be on his way back to Chelsea and will continue on from his very promising campaign with Bremen wherever he ends up next season. But the club are in need of someone who will be a threat in attack immediately. For the reported fee of just over £20 million, I can’t see how Schurrle is a wise investment for Chelsea.