It's difficult to know what to make of André Schürrle's first season at Chelsea. On one level, he did rather well considering he had limited playing time and seemed to be brought in primarily as a backup. He scored a hattrick against Fulham, grabbed that vital goal to start the comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, and generally played quite well in bigger matches. But on the other hand he cost €21 million when we bought him from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, and so he should probably be held to a standard he hasn't quite hit yet.
But there's obviously promise there, and he seems to have improved quite markedly over the course of the season. And there's good news for the 23-year-old: Germany coach Joachim Löw has noticed:
That year in England has done Schürrle really, really good. You can see it in his appearance and his confidence. He's played in quite a few big games for Chelsea. He's become more physical.
Schürrle himself said recently that the biggest hurdle he had to overcome after transitioning from Germany to England was the lack of a winter break, which left him feeling 'weak and lacking in power' in January. Overcoming that, which he eventually did, probably puts him in better shape, at least stamina-wise, than most of his fellow compatriots, and his combination of speed and defensive ability gives him something that Löw's other inside forwards are lacking. He's probably not going to get many chances to start in Brazil thanks to Marco Reus, but it's not hard to envision him being used as a regular defensive substitute in games Germany take the lead.