ERFURT, GERMANY - JULY 12: Marko Marin of Bremen reacts during the Pre-Season friendly match between Rot-Weiss Erfurt and Werder Bremen at Steigerwald stadium on July 12, 2011 in Erfurt, Germany. (Photo by Bongarts/Getty Images)
The Internet, I have found, is a place where discussions go in unintended directions. If you ask Chelsea fans who they're most excited to have signed this summer, you're probably expecting a showdown between Oscar and Eden Hazard -- Brazilian sense vs. Belgian flair*. But then, in the midst of people talking about ball retention and arguing that falling over while backheeling is an indication that you might be a little bit silly, a voice pops up in the corner. It asks, "What about Marko Marin?"
It's not a tentative voice, either. It's an exasperated one. It knows full well that not talking about the 23-year-old former (and possibly future, if Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, Mario Goetze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller and Andre Schurrle all mysteriously vanish) German international is a massive oversight on everyone else's part. What, indeed, about Marko Marin?
Chelsea snatched the tricksy little winger from Werder Bremen just before the season ended, seemingly out of nowhere. Marin is known for being a deliciously inventive dribbler with an eye for the pass, and his partnership with Mesut Ozil before the playmaker bolted for Real Madrid was nothing short of scintillating. Chelsea got him for a reported £7M. How do we reconcile his ability with that fee?
All of which is to say is that Marko Marin is injured* and that we should have been expecting this to happen not infrequently. He's out with a hamstring injury, and, worryingly, Roberto di Matteo gave absolutely no indication about a potential timeline for his return. He has not played since July 28th.
*This is called 'burying the lede' and it's really bad writing. However, those words are already out and neither you nor I can do anything about them.
So that's pretty annoying. Marin's a lot of fun when he's on, but he came to us cheap because he wasn't on very much last season. I was hoping that the spate of injuries that kept him sidelined during 2011/12 was just a weird blip, but this newest injury is not a good sign. Marin is a very good player, but he's also spent a lot of time on the treatment table. He may well continue to do so. Adjust expectations accordingly.