Chelsea have finally announced the long-awaited capture of Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen.
The Germany flier had been strongly linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge but there were concerns that the deal would fall through after Jose Mourinho’s re-appointment as Blues boss.
Mourinho vetoed a potential cash-plus-player deal involving Kevin de Bruyne but an official Chelsea statement confirmed that Schurrle will become the Portuguese’s first signing since his return from Real Madrid, as long as he passes a medical.
“Chelsea Football Club and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have reached an agreement for the transfer of Andre Schurrle, subject to the completion of legal documentation and related matters, including personal terms and passing a medical,” read the statement.
Schurrle’s departure was sanctioned by Leverkusen after they completed a move for his replacement, Hamburg’s South Korean hitman Heung-Min Son.
Director Wolfgang Holzhauser said: “We have made it clear from the beginning that Andre Schurrle’s departure would only be possible only if we found an adequate alternative.
“We have now found this alternative by signing Heung-Min Son and thus, in our view, there is nothing to stand in the way of Andre Schurrle’s move.”
The signing of Schurrle could well prove a masterstroke for Chelsea as he will provide them with some much-needed width on the left of their attacking triumvirate behind the main striker.
Eden Hazard and Demba Ba were often utilised on that flank last term, but both were inclined to cut inside, whereas the left-footed Schurrle is more than happy to drive for the byline.
The 23-year-old is pacey and direct when running at opponents and will be a particularly useful weapon on the counter-attack, which was one of the key factors in the success of Mourinho’s Real Madrid outfit.
Schurrle carries a decent goal threat, too, having notched 14 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions for Leverkusen last season, as well as boasting seven goals in his 24 caps for Germany.
In fact, since scoring five goals in his first season with Mainz in 2009-10, Schurrle has bagged an impressive 38 goals in 117 appearances, at an average of one every 3.07 games.
With that in mind, bwin’s offer of 17/20 for Schurrle to notch seven or more Premier League goals next term looks well worth a go for Blues fans.
Under seven is available at the same price, but Mourinho is likely to take the domestic cups seriously and steer Chelsea into the latter stages of the Champions League, as well as being no stranger to rotation.
So Schurrle should be given every chance to prove his outstanding talent in the league and a total of seven or more strikes looks to be well within his compass.