Why £18m signing is Chelsea's unluckiest player

As Eden Hazard and Willian continue to impress, spare a thought for Andre Schurrle.

Chelsea spent months trying to sign Andre Schurrle last summer, in a protracted transfer saga with Bayer Leverkusen.

When they reflect at the end of the season they will like to be able to sit back and think the effort, and £18 million fee was all worthwhile. 

If assessing Schurrle at this point would there be a convincing argument it was, it's certainly debatable. Yet this is not necessarily his fault. Firstly, his return and statistics:

Schurrle has scored three goals, but does not have a single assist to his name all season. He has made 10 starts, seven in the Premier League only from 25 games, and has a further 13 appearances from the bench in all competitions.

Two of Schurrle's three strikes came in the same game against Stoke in early December, but he has not netted since.

To reflect on a poor return from the German however would be a bit unfair, because he has been incredibly unlucky.

Schurrle is unlucky because the two players he is competing for positions with are in simply sensational form.

Barring the failed experiment when he was played as a striker at Old Trafford, Schurrle has been started wide left (six times) or wide right (three times).

Right now though he can barely get a look-in, and that's due to the terrific form of Eden Hazard and Willian.

Hazard is showcasing Player of the Year form, mesmerising against Manchester City, completing 11 successful dribbles, he followed it up with a hat-trick versus Newcastle, propelling Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table.

Schurrle's fellow summer signing Willian is hitting his stride, creating seven goalscoring opportunities against City and nine the game before against West Ham.

With Mohamed Salah bought last month and sure to get his own chances to make an impression in the positions, Schurrle is going to have to start seizing the initiative.

With crucial Champions League matches and the title race likely to go to the wire, he will get his opportunities, it's just a case of making the most of them to not only aid his World Cup chances, but to avoid his season being remembered as an unlucky one, rather than a success on a personal level.

image: © bensutherland

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