GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 22: Sami Khedira of Germany celebrates scoring their second goal with Andre Schurrle of Germany during the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter final match between Germany and Greece at The Municipal Stadium on June 22, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
We found out a few days ago that Chelsea FC had lodged an unsuccessful bid for Andre Schurrle. Yesterday we had word that Chelsea were considering revisiting that particular target. Whether or not the new bid ever happens, we know without a doubt that Chelsea do indeed have interest in adding Schurrle. With that in mind, we're going to take a look at what Schurrle brings to the table today.
Schurrle is a 21 year old who made his senior debut for Mainz 05 in 2009 at the age of 18. He spent his first 2 professional seasons there before being sold to Bayer Leverkusen in 2011. Schurrle made his international debut shortly after the last World Cup, and was a regular in qualifying before being named to the Euro 2012 squad for Germany. Both Graham and I have been high on him for a while, as you can see by going back to the gamethreads from our Champions League clashes with Leverkusen this past autumn.
Schurrle stands 6 feet tall with a smaller build, making him a bit of a tall winger or an undersized traditional center forward. He has good speed, balance, change of direction, and acceleration. He's no Hulk, but he's strong enough to hold his own against most defenders out there. That said, he might have some difficulty playing centrally against some of the stronger defenses in the Premier league.
Schurrle's skillset is certainly interesting as well. He's a good long shooter, and a solid dribbler. He's also probably a bit underrated in his passing ability, as he's got a knack for playing excellent through balls. His crossing isn't bad, but he's no
Stewart Downing Antonio Valencia at this point in his career. All in all, he's a pretty well rounded player from a technical standpoint. While he could certainly become more polished as he develops, there are no real glaring holes in his game. For a 21 year old, that's pretty rare.
One of the biggest pluses about Schurrle is his outstanding work rate. He's more than willing to track back and defend, and he creates a fair number of turnovers because of this willingness. He's also not a bad tackler, something that's never going to hurt an attacker who is willing to work to get the ball back. He does a nice job of positioning himself defensively and then providing an outlet after his team takes possession. that's something that will help Chelsea transition from defense to attack in a far more efficient manner.
As always, I've got plenty of video for you. Since they are available, we're going to look at 5 that look specifically at the player and all of his touches in a given game. The first is against Uruguay while playing for the national team:
Next up we have Schurrle at club level against Frankfurt:
Once again at club level, this time St. Pauli is the opponent:
Now for a Chmapions League level opponent, Schurrle vs. Borussia Monchengladbach:
And finally we have his Euro 2012 performance against Greece:
While the majority of this video features Schurrle on the left, it's important to point out that he's still very good in plenty of other places on the pitch. He's equally capable of playing on the right, and has had some success playing centrally as well. The versatility Schurrle provides is one of the more interesting things he brings to the table, as he can help in any number of areas.
While Schurrle would provide yet another attacker to a Chelsea side that is suddenly overflowing with them, he's actually a very different player than the bulk we've been bringing in. Where Chelsea have added several smaller, creative players to the squad this summer, Schurrle is more physically similar to Salomon Kalou with better technical skills. I thought he'd be a great addition back in November, and nothing he's done since has made me think any differently. If the price is right, this would be a fantastic addition.