On the 28th of April 2012, it was announced that Marko Marin would be joining Chelsea once the transfer window opened on the July 1st. For me personally, I was pleased with the 7 million price tag and looked forward to seeing him get some game time during our first season as defending European Champions. However a mixture of injury and, quite frankly, average performances have seem him now not even occupying bench space during a very disappointing season for the German.
Marin, for me at least, was seemingly brought in as a cheap and effective attacking midfielder just in case we did not defeat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, and therefore we would not be able attract "world class" players - this is all because without winning at the Allianz Arena last May we would not have been able to boast the appeal of Champions League football. However, as we all know too well, with Drogba's last kick of a football in Chelsea colours we secured Abramovich's "Holy Grail" and ,of course, Champions League football for the 2012-13 season. With this victory saw an influx of attacking talent - this including Eden Hazard, Oscar and Victor Moses -the latter two arrived long after the signing of Marko Marin - and with all this talent it can be made obvious why Marin has not featured.
By September the 1st Chelsea had many players who could occupy the three places behind Fernando Torres. Such players included Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Victor Moses, Daniel Sturridge and Ramires ; Ryan Bertrand (who started the Champions League final on the left wing), Frank Lampard and Yossi Benayoun (who returned from West Ham in January) could also be thrown into this huge list of attacking midfielders. His injury just after pre season clearly did not help as he found it very hard to prove himself and earn much playing time - Marko often had to play for the reserves.
During pre-season however he look very sharp. For example, I remember I was in Boston, Massachusetts on the day that Chelsea beat the Seattle Sounders 4-2. Marko Marin got on the scoresheet along with newly recruited Eden Hazard and the 19 year old Romelu Lukau. Things were looking promising for Marin at this point, but then he got injured. During this period, Chelsea had an unbeaten start to the season, up until that controversial loss in late October at the Bridge to Manchester United. Marin had not featured at all really until this point and of course from then on it was very hard to work his way back into the team.
So far this season he has played 15 matches for the Blues and has scored just the one goal in a 4-1 win over Wigan. Most of these have been substitute appearances in such competitions as the Europa League and some League Cup matches. Even when Marin has earned a place in the starting line up he has not proven himself to be someone of Chelsea quality; an example being when he started against bottom of the league QPR, and was lucky not be sent off early on in the first half.
It is safe to say, Marko Marin has not made an impact and seems to be ending the season on whimper. Although Chelsea came out with all three points from Old Trafford yesterday, for me it was very annoying not to even see him listed on the bench. From that bench, I could only see Fernando Torres who offered even a little attacking threat. Surely Marko Marin could do more for the team and offer a better option than the likes of Paulo Ferreira and Yossi Benayoun*. In all honesty I've never been a fan of Yossi, and for the life of me I could never understand why in a weakened Europa League side it was always him chosen ahead of Marko Marin.
* I've always thought that surely it would have been better to bring Malouda back into the first team fold instead of Yossi Benayoun, I think Malouda is a much better player and most would have liked to seen him feature in the weakened sides - but this is getting off topic.
So, what next for the 24 year old German? As far as I can see we have four obvious options:
So what would you do with Marko Marin? Although his season has been far from impressive, I hold nothing against him personally and it's a shame his move has not worked out - what safe to say is he has not lived up to his hype of being "the German Messi" and (as Germany's national team coach described him) as " a player who can decide a game on his own"
- The first being we can keep him, however I feel this will result in him getting even less game time that this season. With the constant speculation of who's on Roman's shopping list (the likes of André Schürrle and Isco all rumoured to feature), he clearly will not get a game for a long time.
- The second being to simply sell him, likely to be a cut price figure. Although he has not been a key member of the first team squad or starting lineup, I wouldn't rule out either of his former clubs (Borussia Mönchengladbach or Werder Bremen) making a bid for him, with the former apparently interested in Marin during the January transfer period.
- The third is slightly more shrewd. Obviously it seems we're interested in André Schürrle, perhaps Marin could be used in this deal to slightly lower the price of the Bayer Leverkusen winger/forward. Obviously it is not just applicable to this transfer, yet this can still be a valid option for any potential deal.
- The fourth is a loan. I see this as the one I would opt for. Before Chelsea let him go so soon, and not seeing his potential, I would loan him to, preferably, another Premier League club where he is almost guaranteed a starting or prominent role. It's clear that a newly promoted side could use his ability, and should Gianfranco Zola's Watford get promoted, Marin could easily fit in to their style of play, and also it's offering a former legend of the club a talented winger in order to help their bid for survival. I can also see him fitting in well in Southampton, but I don't think now is the time to go through every club he could potentially go on loan to. By the way, we've all seen how much Romelu Lukaku has shone during his loan spell to West Bromich Albion.
Could Marin be used in a deal for Leverkusen's André Schürrle (pictured right, next to former Chelsea forward Nicolas Anelka)? Is he worth keeping hold of? Should we send Marin packing as soon a July 1st comes? Do we loan him out to see what he can do when given the chance?Below is a poll as I'm interested to see what the community think. This has been my first post as member and I look forward to hearing your views on the Marko Marin situation.