It is being reported a lot in the media that Chelsea have agreed a £20million fee with Bayer Leverkusen over the purchase of André Schürrle. According to many media reports Chelsea officials will meet with Leverkusen officials in an attempt to conclude the deal. Rumours persist that Schürrle has already agreed a five year contract with Chelsea and the move just needs to be finalised. With the move to Stamford Bridge for Schürrle looking very likely, he now has a chance to face his best friend Lewis Holtby (the pair played together at Mainz). However, English fans may not know that much about Schürrle, so just who is he?
André Schürrle is a full German international and a favourite of Joachim Löw. At just 22 years of age, he has made 21 appearances for his country and scored an impressive 7 goals, a goal every 3 games. He has scored 12 goals this season in 38 appearances and also has 8 assists for Leverkusen. He is predominantly a support striker but this season has been played as a left winger or left forward. For Leverkusen he has played on the left of a front three, with Stefan Kießling playing central and Sidney Sam completing the three pronged attack. He is right footed and one of Germany’s top talents with his coach and ex-Liverpool defender Sammi Hypia saying “André has shown how important he is for us”. The fee £20million is pocket money for the rich Roman Abramovich and Chelsea, and also looks a sound investment. Schürrle has plenty of potential and is very quick, an attribute which will really suit the Premier League.
There is no doubt that the next Chelsea manager will have a big impact on Schürrle’s career. He is very versatile, being able to play across the attacking line and also right or left midfield. If the next manager is one who likes passing football, say maybe Michael Laudrup, Schürrle could be deployed in the false number nine role. He has the pace, the dribbling technique and the positional sense for this role. However, he may need to develop a better range of passing. The change to the false number nine role will also need a lot of training and must not be implemented too quickly. If the change is too quick, Schürrle will struggle and lose confidence. Confidence is vital for a young developing player, especially for a striker. On the other hand, the next manager may want to play Schürrle as a shadow striker, supporting the physical target man Ba. The players would need to gain an understanding of each other, but Ba can speak a bit of German having spent time at Hoffenheim, which will help them communicate and understand each other better. Another way Chelsea could play Schürrle is, like at Leverkusen, in a front three. He could interchange with Torres and Hazard causing havoc for defences across the country, dragging defenders out of position and creating space for Mata to play final passes or room for Ramires to burst through defences with his pace. A 4-2-3-1 could also suit Schürrle. He would provide an effective outlet for Chelsea and his pace would be dangerous on the counter-attack. He again could also swap with the lone striker. Schürrle could also play with another striker in a basic 4-4-2 or 4-2-2-2. He could drop out wide, leaving space for Hazard or another winger to burst into the space he just created.
One thing Chelsea must not do with Schürrle is not to bench him too often. There is no point spending £20million on a promising 22 year old of you are not going to play him. Playing time is absolutely key for young players. Schürrle is at a crucial stage in the development process, where he will keep learning. Chelsea fans must also stay patient as Schürrle will probably struggle to adapt to the speed of the English game and also England as a place to live. He is after all only 22 and £20million looks a bargain for a potential world beater. If the deal goes according to plan, Chelsea will have done an excellent piece of business. Gut Gemacht!