Preseason is barely a fortnight old for most teams, but it's already proved to be a hectic summer—especially at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho has returned as Chelsea manager, declaring himself the "Happy One," while the club has been busy in the transfer market and recruiting the players they hope will make them Premier League champions once more.
Chelsea may have lost out on reported targets Edinson Cavani (via Daily Star), Radamel Falcao (via The Express) and Robert Lewandowski (via Daily Mail), but in Marco van Ginkel and Andre Schurrle, they have acquired two of Europe's rising stars.
The duo may not arrive with the headline appeal of Cavani, but if their Stamford Bridge careers develop the way Chelsea hope, the combined £26 million outlay for their services will prove very much worth it.
Van Ginkel is an exciting prospect. His performances for Vitesse Arnhem last term were a major reason why the club surprised many by finishing in the Eredivisie's top four and taking a Europa League spot for 2012-13.
The Dutch league may not be among the continent's most competitive, but it has a reputation for being the perfect breeding ground for the next generation of stars, whether they be Dutch or from outside Europe's borders.
At 20 years old, van Ginkel appears ready to add his name to that list, but he may have to wait a little longer than his new teammate Schurrle to become a hero at Chelsea.
Right now, the 22-year-old Schurrle has the look of a man aggravated that his move to West London came a year later than anticipated.
Lest we forget, as The Guardian reported almost 12 months ago, Schurrle was expected to leave Bayer Leverkusen for the Blues last summer. In the Bundesliga he remained, however, after his former employers ensured they retained his services for at least one more season.
Call it a cliche, but he appears eager to make up for the lost time.
Soon after his transfer was announced in June, he spoke to Chelsea's official website about his relief that the deal was finally secured.
"It's been a long time coming," he said, before outlining what he expects to achieve in 2013-14.
"For this club, winning titles is always the main objective. We have a great young team with so much quality. We are capable of doing well in the Premier League, Champions League and the cup competitions as well, and I hope to play a big part."
Determined words, indeed. But will Schurrle get the opportunities to act upon his instincts?
The likely answer is "yes," whereas van Ginkel will have to be a little more patient. After all, he has to compete with the likes of Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Ramires in the heart of the midfield—not to mention Daniele De Rossi, whom Metro claims is close to joining the Blues.
Schurrle has no such problems.
Despite having Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard in their lineup last season, Chelsea still lacked a certain panache. At times, they looked one dimensional as they struggled to break teams down.
Width was often a problem, yet playing on the flanks—either left or right—Schurrle will give Mourinho's team more balance. The German likes to cut inside, but he will be far more disciplined than Oscar, who often clogged up space in central areas as he drifted into his more natural position from wide right.
With Lampard coming to the end of his career, the move for van Ginkel was sensible, with the Blues looking to gradually replace the man who has been such a vital part of their success in the past decade.
And that will be van Ginkel's Achilles' heel for next season at least. Schurrle arrives with an instant purpose, while his Dutch colleague needs to be looking further down the road.
Who will have the greater success in West London? Only time will tell, but next season, we can expect Schurrle to be the man receiving the immediate plaudits.
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