Having been linked with a move for German international Andre Schurrle for some time now, Chelsea have reportedly wrapped up a deal for the star forward.
The move—for all intents and purposes—makes sense on a number of levels for Leverkusen and Schurrle himself. However, it doesn't make as much sense for the Blues this summer, particularly if the final cost attached to the transfer is in the vicinity of the reported £20 million.
Bayer Leverkusen were reportedly close to finalizing a deal last summer with Chelsea for Schurrle but could not get a replacement for the German forward, so they did not sell. That fact is believed to be the reason why an announcement is being delayed this time around also, with the club not wanting to make this deal official until they have secured the services of one of their two replacement targets—Chelsea's Kevin De Bruyne or Borussia Monchengladbach's Patrick Herrmann.
However, according to the information above, one of those deals must be close to finalized, with an announcement on Schurrle expected on Friday.
For Leverkusen, the decision to sell Schurrle now makes complete sense—particularly if they netted as much for him as is reported.
The German forward was picked up for just over £5 million back in 2011, and whilst 30 percent of any deal over £8.5 million (which this is) will go back to his former club, Mainz 05, Leverkusen still stand to make an almighty profit on the forward. With Champions League football potentially on the cards, this will serve them well in trying to bring in new talent over the summer transfer window.
What's more, Schurrle reportedly had a release clause in his contract that would kick in next summer, where he could be bought for just £12 million.
Thus to wrap up a deal for him now makes perfect sense for Bayer.
The deal also makes sense in many regards for Schurrle himself, who will still benefit despite moving into a squad with a number of very good players.
Chelsea are obviously looking to play the striker regularly, and his versatility in attack means he can be played anywhere across the midfield, or even up front. Spread that out across all competitions, and the likelihood is that Schurrle would still see plenty of appearances, and plenty of opportunities to get his names amongst the goalscorers.
According to Honigstein, Schurrle's chances or wrapping up a spot in the German national team will also not be harmed by moving to West London.
Schürrle is confident enough that he will get enough game time with Chelsea to stay in contention for a starting place in the German national team. He was one of the few “winners” of Euro 2012 after a fine performance against Greece. Recent progress has been stinted by the emergence of Mario Götze and Marco Reus, however. The two Dortmund gems will be hard to displace, in any case, so Schürrle has little to lose and a lot to gain from crossing the Channel.
Schurrle is likely to pocket significantly more in his wages (around £90,000 per week according to Metro) than he was at Leverkusen, which is definitely hard to say no to.
For the forward himself—with more money, same opportunities and no harm to his national spot—the move makes perfect sense as well. Especially given that he's going to a proven performer in Europe who is just one season removed from winning the UEFA Champions League.
But despite all of that, the move makes no sense for Chelsea.
Especially if, as we've mentioned before, they paid £22 million for him.
The Blues' original interest in the German forward came in the lead-up to last summer's transfer window, when their attack did look depleted. However, since then, they've brought in a number of big-name players and spent a lot of money doing so, which could well have been for nothing if they opt to bring in Schurrle and play him ahead of those signings.
Victor Moses was bought for around £9 million; Marko Marin for £7 million; Oscar for around £25 million. That's £40 million alone that Chelsea will not be able to take full advantage of in the future now that Schurrle is on their books and another attacking midfielder to try and find space for.
The list is simply getting out of hand for Chelsea.
|Defensive Midfielders||Attacking Midfielders||Forwards|
John Obi Mikel
Andre Schurrle (reported)
Kevin De Bruyne
There is simply no way that the Blues can play all of those players at the same time—let alone Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Ba and Schurrle at once.
The only way that could happen is if they went to a 4-3-2-1 formation that would leave them seriously depleted at the back. Which, as we've seen this season, is not good for the Blues if they want to achieve any sort of defensive solidity.
This incredible depth and abundance of riches could also damage any prospective deal for a big-name striker like Radamel Falcao or Edinson Cavani, who definitely won't want to come to Stamford Bridge if they think that their minutes are going to be reduced. They'll be more likely to choose somewhere that will offer them a permanent spot—like Manchester City—leaving the Blues to simply miss out.
Schurrle will no doubt be a great player who will be good for Chelsea.
He will take away some of the over-reliance on Hazard out on the left and allow Mata to be rested more than he has been lately. However, in the long-term it's not a great deal, from a business point it's not a great deal and it struggles to make a whole lot of sense logically.
You'll be hard pressed to find a Chelsea fan who wanted another attacking midfielder more than they wanted a defensive midfielder this summer, and yet the Blues have reportedly gone and acquired Schurrle.
It's decisions like this that leave little doubt as to why so many fans are disenfranchised with the club. Only time will tell if Chelsea can make some smarter decisions this summer to try and win them back.
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