Latest Chelsea signing Andre Schurrle is looking forward to meeting his new team-mates and enjoying a pre-season like never before.
The German international, who has 24 caps to his name, completed his transfer to the Blues from Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, and is already focusing on preparing himself for the 2013/14 campaign, which will be preceded by visits to Asia and America.
‘I’ve never been to Asia before, so I’m really looking forward to it. We’re visiting three different places, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, and it will be a good opportunity for me to get to know my team-mates,’ said the 22-year-old.
‘I played against Kevin De Bruyne last season and we had a little talk but nothing too much. I’ve met Oriol Romeu, I know Marko Marin and I met Michael Essien at Michael Ballack’s testimonial game.’
Schurrle also spoke with Jose Mourinho at Ballack’s event in Leipzig, but there are plenty of new relationships to be forged during the time on the road. It will be a period of intense interest in the Blues, both in Asia and America, and the attacker admits the experience will be another new test for him.
‘At Bayer Leverkusen, we went to Austria for a couple of weeks for a training camp, but nothing like this pre-season will be for me,’ he said. ‘We’re going to Asia for two weeks and then USA for two weeks, so it will be very difficult.’
At some point during that four-week period, it is more than likely he will be asked, like every other new arrival at the club, to stand on a chair and sing a song to his new team-mates. The idea being that that embarrassment initiates the player into the squad. It is an experience nobody enjoys!
‘I’ve heard about it,’ Schurrle admitted. ‘Now I have a couple of weeks to practice and research a song to sing. I’ve got something in mind but you’ll have to wait and see.’
Chelsea fans won’t mind if he is off key there, just so long as he hits the right notes when the games begin in Bangkok on July 17.
Tickets for our pre-season matches in Bangkok on 17 July, Kuala Lumpur on 21 July and Jakarta on 25 July are now on sale. Click on the city names for details.