With reports last night that Andre Schürrle is due to undergo a medical today with Fulham, it’s hard to not get carried away with the prospect of the front three that Slavisa Jokanovic will be able to put out in the Premier League come August. If all goes to plan, that fluid forward line could be teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon, Serbian hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic and Schurrle, who will have something to prove in English football after being let go by Chelsea.
Despite reports to the contrary lately, I have the upmost confidence that the deal to bring Mitrovic to Craven Cottage will be confirmed by Friday, finally ending two months of fevered speculation regarding the Newcastle United striker’s future. The partnership between Sessegnon and Mitrovic proved pivotal in our promotion in our promotion from the Championship last season. The constant threat from the left and through the middle caused havoc in opposition defences and when you add a World Cup winner to the mix, it certainly provides real optimism for the season to come.
So what does Schürrle bring to the table? Well, he brings a wealth of experience at club and international level. His Premier League record scoring record stands at a goal every four games, which is particularly impressive for a winger. He also has an impressive goal to game ratio for his native Germany, scoring 22 goals in 57 appearances; and he also famously provided the assist to give Germany their first World Cup in 24 years. Schürrle also offers versatility in being able to play across the front 3 – which could see he and Sessegnon swap flanks to further bamboozle defenders. He has bundles of experience at the highest level and the work ethic of a proven winner. He has been linked with the likes of Everton, Crystal Palace, AC Milan and Lazio this summer but it looks like Tony Khan may well have got his man. This latest piece of transfer business highlights Fulham’s ambition not just to make up the numbers upon their return to the top table of English football – and the new boys are certainly sending out a message to the rest of the Premier League this summer.
Schürrle might be more used to playing on the left wing, but he did contribute nine goals from the right during his last spell in England. Jokanovic tried a whole host of wingers on the right flank including Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano and Lucas Piazon, but none of them claimed the spot for themselves. Fulham ended the season with the unpredictable – but significantly improved – Aboubakar Kamara operating out wide. With Schürrle coming in, we may just have found the missing link in the front three.
This could be a move to reinvigorate the German’s impressive career. He has found it tough at Borussia Dortmund, making just 33 appearances in the last two seasons, and will want to show that his best days are not behind him. There may be comparisons with Irish winger Damien Duff, who found a new lease life in a Fulham shirt as the Whites recorded their highest-ever league finish and reached a European final under Roy Hodgson. If Schürrle can have a similar impact, then Fulham could be well on their way to establishing themselves in the top flight again.