Despite not being a regular in the Chelsea starting XI, Schurrle’s goalscoring exploits yesterday certainly showed the strength in depth that manager Jose Mourinho has in his squad.
The German international joined Chelsea last summer for a reported £18m from Bayer Leverkusen. Despite his pedigree, it was never going to be easy for Schurrle to break into the starting XI, with Mourinho then having alternative options in Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. As Willian and Kevin De Bruyne also offered further competition, Schurrle had to be patient.
Events over the last few weeks have certainly helped Schurrle gain more minutes on the pitch, however, as De Bruyne and Mata have been sold, new signing Mohamed Salah is taking time to adjust, and Brazilian playmaker Oscar is currently suffering from tiredness. This was, then, Schurrle's chance to shine.
The 23-year-old started Chelsea’s West London derby with Fulham on Saturday in confident mood, and he rewarded his boss with arguably his best performance so far in a Chelsea shirt.
Despite going in at the interval with the score level at 0-0, Chelsea’s attacking movement was carving the Fulham defence open, and from the restart Schurrle netted a hat-trick within 16 minutes to ensure Chelsea left Craven Cottage with all three points, and remained top of the Premier League table.
Schurrle's performance would have gone down well with Mourinho – who in the past has lamented Chelsea's failure to kill teams off. Schurrle's teammates, too, have shown their appreciation of the player. 21-year-old Dutch international Marco Van Ginkel is arguably the player closest to Schurrle in the Chelsea squad, and he quickly turned to Instagram to congratulate his friend. He left a simple message: 'Good job boys… Congrats to my bro with the hat-trick'.
Should Andre Schurrle be given more game time at Chelsea ?
image: © Warrenfish