Andre Schurrle has opened up about his struggles at Chelsea, and admitted that Jose Mourinho showed him how hard life as a football player can be.
Schurrle moved to Stamford Bridge from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013, but just 18 months and 20 starts later, he was on his way back to the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg. The German struggled to find his best form with the Blues and especially struggled to force his way into Mourinho’s plans.
Despite a positive start, he soon found himself seated on the bench for most games after returning from an illness that kept him out of action for a few weeks. He then left Chelsea for Wolfsburg in a £22 million deal in the winter of 2015.
When asked if leaving the Blues midway through the season was a mistake, he said: “In retrospect, the change in winter was perhaps a mistake.
“I came into a team that worked very well and was successful. I was physically not in the best condition, which the responsible persons also knew. At first, it was going well, then I had a hard time, also mentally.”
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“Mourinho showed me the hard professional life. For the first time, I had to deal with what it was like when you suddenly sit were on the bench after a bad game. It was really hard but also a great experience with all these stars.
“My self-confidence has grown enormously in London.” the German added. “It was the same as I imagined it with this big club with the blue jerseys. Chelsea was a dream for me. But after I was out for a few weeks through an infection, the coach unfortunately did not pick me much more often.
“Mourinho is a coach for the win. The team is his tool to win. For me it was important to experience this mentality. To the outside, he never criticized a player, but internally it was always really right to the point.”