Bayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle has been on Chelsea’s radar since Andre Villas Boas’ time at Stamford Bridge and the forward looks cut from the same cloth as Chelsea’s other new-breed attacking midfielders Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. The former Mainz striker could well be on his way to Stamford Bridge this summer, with Sky Sports quoting the midfielder as saying that his side’s 1-0 win at Hamburg was likely to be his last match for the club.
Chelsea fans worried that that the new man may turn out to be another Marko Marin will be pleased to know that the Leverkusen ace has been in fine form in helping his team to third place in the Bundesliga. Whoscored.com allocated Schurrle the ninth highest average performance rating of any player in the German top flight this term – higher than the likes of Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger or Mario Mandzukic – and the 22-year-old chipped in with 11 goals and nine assists for the cause.
While there may be cause for concern as to why Chelsea are signing another attacking midfielder to go along with Mata, Oscar, Hazard and Victor Moses, the need for quality players for squad rotation has been clear at times this season.
Having played a whopping 69 games this term as Chelsea have pursued silverware across five fronts there have been times when Hazard and Oscar have lost form, while even the effervescent Mata has shown signs of mental tiredness in the latter part of the campaign.
An extra member of the attacking brains trust at the Bridge could give Roman Abramovich’s play-thing real hope of mounting a Premier League title challenge in 2013/14, for which they can currently be backed as 11/4 third-favourites.
Like Moses, Schurrle is most at home as a wide striker, meaning his purchase would give Chelsea the option of playing with a 4-3-3 formation rather than the 4-2-3-1 they have largely employed in the season just departed. Furthermore his lightning pace will mean that the ever-willing Ramires will be spared sole responsibility for providing his colleagues with a hard-running “out-ball”.
Despite its long and winding history the deal to bring Schurrle to Stamford Bridge remains far from done according to Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller. A potential stumbling block may be the role of the Blues’ midfielder Kevin De Bruyne – impressive during his loan spell at Werder Bremen this season – as a make-weight in the bargaining, with the Belgian thought to prefer a move to Borussia Dortmund.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication