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)
If there's been one consistency this summer with the rumour mill, it's been the inordinate number of wingers we've been linked to. Whether it be Hulk or Schurrle, one thing's for sure: Chelsea's in for a winger, and preferably one that can double up both on the wing and up front. That kind of versatility is crucial in both providing backup for centre forward and increasing our options in the attacking third.
The last couple of days, Oscar aside, we've seen an intensification in the amount of stories linking Bayer Leverkusen's Andre Schurrle to Chelsea, with the Blues apparently having a £17 million bid turned down. Interestingly, at the same time a lot of the rumours linking Hulk and Victor Moses have died down. It may be circumstantial - especially when Chelsea employ a Director of Football to take care of transfers - but it's also interesting to note the way the rumours have played out ever since Roberto di Matteo was given a two year contract.
This, for me, indicates that Di Matteo has at least indicated a preference out of all our mooted options, and this doesn't surprise me. Schurrle is a hard worker, as Steve pointed out in his profile yesterday and is evident in any match in which you watch Schurrle play. He's willing to track back and try and win the ball. Sound a bit like Salomon Kalou? The Ivorian, who could play both left, right and up front like Schurrle, recently left the club at the end of his contract, but I'm sure you'll remember that Kalou was vital to the Blues incredible run in which culminated in the Champions League final, of which Kalou started.
Kalou was never the most talented player at Chelsea, but his work rate was crucial to what Di Matteo needed in his tactics - basically, wingers that got back and held one of two defensive lines of four. Only Ramires and Malouda fit into the current stock of wingers: Hazard and Sturridge lack the understanding to fulfil such a role, while Hulk, and to a lesser extent, Moses, would also struggle to fill such a role. Schurrle is not the most glamorous target we've had this summer, but for Chelsea, he offers a tactical element that we know is exactly what Roberto Di Matteo prefers. Furthermore, as degoey pointed out, on the left he'd offer protection to Ashley Cole, freeing up the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to wage havoc for opposition defences.