Early last month, Chelsea completed the signing of German international André Schürrle on a five-year deal. A deal for the 22-year-old forward had been agreed between former club Bayer Leverkusen and the London club a few days earlier, with the move expected to occur by many since the summer window opened.
Schürrle began his career as a youngster at Ludwigshafener SC before joining FSV Mainz Under-17 in 2009. He went on to play for the Under-19 team 2 years later, and was then promoted to the first team in 2009. His first season as a first team player didn’t particularly stand out as FSV Mainz finished 9th in the German Bundesliga, but his second season with the club was definitely one to remember for him and the club as a whole. Although it had been announced that he would be leaving the club for Leverkusen, the then 20-year-old scored a record 15 goals in 34 games and managed 5 assists, leading FSV Mainz to a 5th-place finish and securing them a Europa League spot.
In July 2011, Schürrle joined Bayer Leverkusen from FSV Mainz on a five-year deal and scored 7 league goals in his first full season. He scored a total of 9 goals and assisted 6 in his first 40 games for the club. The secondary striker, who also doubles up as a left winger, was however more successful in his second season at the club, where he played most of his Bundesliga games as a secondary striker. He scored 14 goals and assisted 10 in 43 games for his club in the 2012/13 season.
The 22-year-old, who previously played on both the Under-19 and Under-21 levels, made his debut for the German first team along with Mario Götze in a friendly match against Sweden in 2010. Both young talents were subbed in on the 79th minute, becoming the first two international players to be born in reunified Germany. Since then, Schürrle has made 24 appearances for Germany, scoring a total of 7 goals.
Schürrle joins Chelsea at a time when the club has a few problems in attack. Thanks to his versatility, Schürrle has the potential to help solve his new club’s problems as the English Premier League continues to become tighter and more intense. With Chelsea still looking to add one more striker to the team, it is likely that Schürrle will play most of his games on the left wing rather than as a striker if Jose Mourinho is to continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation he and the club are used to.
The return of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne to the London club also means the new man will have to seriously challenge for a regular spot in the first team. Schürrle’s arrival will potentially change Chelsea’s midfield from a traditional Mata-Hazard-Oscar combination.
Having closely followed the Premier League from Germany, Schürrle is aware of how big the challenge will be, and is eager to start playing English football under new manager Jose Mourinho, hoping to give all he can for the club. Proving vital to Leverkusen’s 3rd place finish in the Bundesliga last season, playing football in England will present a new challenge and will hopefully improve the striker’s skills. Schürrle expressed his excitement and shared a bit on what he intends to give for his new team on the club’s official website:
“I am so happy now I have signed and it is an honor for me to play for this club, with this team and for these great fans. I am really looking forward to it.”
“I’m familiar with English football and the Premier League as I watched it every weekend in Germany. Of course, I don’t know every player, but I know all of the teams and the ways in which they play, so I’m looking forward to testing myself against them.”
“I saw lots of Chelsea last season, I wanted to come here so I think I watched every single Chelsea game. They finished the season very strongly; finishing third was very important for the club, qualifying for the Champions League without having to go through the qualifiers, so the last month in particular was very good.”
“For this club, winning titles is always the main objective. We have a great young team with so much quality. We are capable of doing well in the Premier League, Champions League and the cup competitions as well, and I hope to play a big part.”
André Schürrle arrived at Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee believed to be around £18m. He will wear the No. 14 shirt for Chelsea and will officially begin his season against Hull City on August 18th. A great addition to the squad, Schürrle could be an important factor in Chelsea’s race to win the Premier League as well as add some healthy competition between the players.
Written by Ange Marline