LONDON: Andre Schurrle’s transfer to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen was a work in progress long before confirmation of Jose Mourinho’s return as manager at Stamford Bridge. But the two have already been discussing their new lives in London.
The former Bayer Leverkusen forward completed his £18m transfer on Tuesday armed already with advice from his new boss on how to adapt to life in London.
Mourinho has yet to talk openly about how he expects Schurrle to fit into his Chelsea jigsaw alongside the creative likes of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard.
The 22-year-old’s attacking versatility makes him an ideal ‘Mourinho player.’ He can expect to find himself asked to take on a number of different tactical challenges in Chelsea’s pre-season campaign. Hopefully he will make a far greater impact than Marko Marin who is among likely summer departures.
Schurrle and Mourinho met for the first time at Michael Ballack’s recent testimonial game and the Special One used the opportunity to prepare his new forward for the days ahead.
“He gave me advice on where to live and also explained what he expects from me,” said Schurrle. “He’s a very good person with a big personality; he’s a great manager so it’s an absolute honour for me to now be one of his players.”
Schurrle also said that he had discussed Chelsea’s offer with Ballack before making up his mind. He said: “We talked a lot about it. I have a lot of contact with him, we send each other SMS messages regularly, so I spoke to him and he told me I had to make the move because Chelsea is a great club with great fans and great staff.”
Ballack wore No13 at Chelsea. Schurrle will be one away, at 14, and is confident of personal and club success.
He said: “Hopefully I can win a lot of titles in the next five years. We have a great team with some very talented young players. We can all improve ourselves and I’m confident we can have a really great season . . . in the Premier League, Champions League and the cup competitions as well. I hope to play a big part.”
Schurrle’s arrival is a rare item of confirmation among an increase transfer market turbulence behind the scenes.
Both north London rivals have been affected by Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival as new coach of Real Madrid: Arsenal hope he will clear the transfer route for Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain but neighbours Tottenham fear he will instigate a move to trump their bid for Corinthians’ midfielder Paulinho after the conclusion of the Confederations Cup this weekend.
Manchester City are also shuffling their pack after Manuel Pellegrini started work as manager on Monday. The first sale of his command appears likely to be Carloz Tevez for whom City have accepted a basic £7.6m bid from Juventus. Tevez has still to agree personal terms.