The German midfielder hasn’t featured in the Community Shield or this weekend’s opener against Wigan, but here are five things you may not already know about our new seven million pound signing.
Injury prone or Injury free?
It should be unsurprising that the 23 year old is injured at the beginning of the season, especially considering the injury plagued season he has survived. Generally Marko has been injury free throughout his career up until the 2011/2012 season. The German international suffered consistent injuries (averaging once a month) in the second half of last season, from hip problems to groin and hamstring strains, which the winger will point to as the reason for his omission from the Euros this summer. Many also attribute his injuries as to why the Blues acquired him for 7 million, an identical fee Werder Bremen paid Borussia Monchengladbach for him.
The former Werder Bremen man is mainly a winger who can also play centrally in an advanced role. It has been said he can play central midfield, which he has been used for by his former club but only when needed. What he does possess in an attacking sense is good short passing skills accompanied with vision for through balls, however Mata, Oscar and Hazard will be the main men to supply the ammunition. What Chelsea fans will be happy to see is his pace and dribbling skills down the sidelines, which has been missing since the departures of Duff and Robben. His pace with or without the ball is impressive, as his comfort and confidence to beat defenders one-on-one.
Goal setter rather than goal getter
Don’t expect a bagful of goals, but expect to see assists. In the Bundesliga Marin notched 24 goals in 184 appearances averaging 4 goals a season, but created 57 goals. Between 2007 and 2011 he accounted for more than 10 assists per season, with 5 last season due to injuries.
Key player or impact sub
It’s difficult to gauge his inclusion week in, week out in the starting line-up. If Di Matteo opts to continue to utilise Ramires on the right flank, the other two attacking roles would be filled by Hazard and Mata whilst the relationship with Oscar evolves. Without doubt Marin will have a key role this season to relieve Mata from the expected fatigue at some stage in the season. Moving forward expect to see Marin regularly making appearances from the bench to provide width and stretch the pattern of play, but his versatility certainly makes him a very good addition to the squad.
Diver or Tryer?
Marko Marin has once been called the “German Messi”, not because of his goal scoring record but because of his diminutive height, 5’7” he shares with the Argentinian. Of course, with his size his strength is brought into question and as a result is often pressured off the ball. This has led to Marin being accused as a diver or a player who falls to ground too easily in the past. Once he loses the ball he has a tendency of conceding fouls (arguably worse than Paul Scholes at tackling) but then at least he’s tenacious. Marko does have the right mental frame of mind though. As a youth he was released by FC Freiburg because they deemed him too weak.