22 years old: Right-footed Forward/Winger
Strengths: Schurrle’s best quality is his ability to accelerate. He had one of the quickest first steps in the entire Bundesliga last season and also has pace to burn. His movement ability might be only second to Hazard on Chelsea and he possesses all the intangible qualities that make him a difficult player to mark. His second best quality is his long-range shooting. He has an extremely powerful right foot and great finishing ability from inside and outside the box. Schurrle is great at holding possession and he’s also a great dribbler. Arguably the main reason Chelsea pursued him is his versatility and high offensive work rate.
Weaknesses: Despite his size, Schurrle is not a strong player and poses almost no aerial threat. One of his more concerning flaws is that he’s not an exceptional crosser. If he is played on the wing then he doesn’t have great ability to put the ball on target in the box. He is considered an average passer, far below the standards of Mata, Hazard and Oscar. He also has a tendency to be selfish on the ball (even though he earned 10 assists last season). Despite his high work rate, he has average stamina. He is known to get a little tired in longer games and was subbed off an astonishing 19 times in 36 league fixtures for Bayer Leverkusen. Schurrle is also a poor defender.
Need to Knows
- Schurrle is best friends with Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby and shared an apartment when they played together at Mainz.
- Contrary to popular belief, Schurrle’s primary position last season was as a second striker and not as a winger. He played all 34 league fixtures as a second striker and 42/43 of the club’s fixtures in the same position.
- His name is pronounced Sher-ler.
- He’s the most capped German player born after the reunification of Germany, with 24 caps (Mario Gotze is second with 22). His first cap was a few days after his 20th birthday against Sweden in a 0-0 draw.
Overall Grade: (B) While Schurrle is a player that many felt Chelsea didn’t “need,” he gives Mourinho a completely different option from our current attacking midfielders, as his game being less focused on passing ability and more on pace and finishing. It’s also widely assumed that Chelsea will continue using the 4-2-3-1 formation Benitez and Mourinho both used last season but it’s possible that Schurrle might play in a more advanced role similar to what he did for Leverkusen. Chelsea seem to be the big winners of the deal as they paid under market value for the player they wanted and didn’t have to loan out Kevin De Bruyne.
Not a bad day’s work for Emenalo and Mourinho.