First thoughts: German Blues

Who would have thought that less than six years later, at the age of 29, Schurrle would have hung up his boots having flitted from club to club following his departure from the Bridge in 2015?

Branner bromance

Big things were expected of Marko Marin when he became the latest pint-sized playmaker to sign for the club in 2012, joining fellow new boy Eden Hazard and Juan Mata. It’s fair to say he didn’t quite deliver like those two former Blues favourites.

Injuries were a problem and in fact, the Serbian-born player appeared only 16 times for Chelsea during his one season with the first team, with the remaining three years spent out on loan. He was an unused substitute as we won the Europa League final following a dramatic late goal by Branislav Ivanovic.

That’s rather fitting for this tale, as Branner had taken Marko under his wing from his first day at Cobham and the two became great friends, at a time when ‘bromance’ seemed to be used to describe any friendship between two blokes.

‘I enjoy spending time with him, we are friends away from training and just doing things like lunch, dinner, meeting with our families and friends,’ said Marin at the time, illustrating the above point perfectly.


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