Amongst all the comings and goings this summer, one man appears to have been forgotten about amid the tumult of transfer speculation. Step forward from the shadows, Marko Marin.
Marin was signed two years ago from Werder Bremen accompanied by a great deal of favourable comment and glowing reviews. An attacking midfielder/winger on the fringes of the Germany squad, he would offer us pace, technique and creativity.
Sadly, we never really got to find out if that would actually be the case. He injured his hamstring in pre-season, losing the chance to establish himself in the first team from the start. He subsequently played just six games for us– most as a substitute –and never really impressed, despite a bizarre headed goal against Wigan just after coming off the bench in stoppage time.
Jose Mourinho took one look at the diminutive, skinny figure on the sidelines and loaned him out to Sevilla. To be fair, he was hardly likely to supplant any of the first-team regulars – and we’d just bought another, more promising, German attacking midfielder in Andre Schurrle. Marin couldn’t have been more surplus to requirements if he’d tried.
Now he’s back, after what can really only be described as a “mixed” year in Spain. He returns with a Europa League winners’ medal, having come off the bench in the final against Benfica. But Sevilla say they’re not interested in making the move permanent or even in extending the loan.
Sevilla have made it clear they were disappointed about his lack of impact. The club sporting director Ramon Rodriguez Monchi said of Marin: “He has a lot of quality and he should analyse why he has not proved more often.”
So what are we to do with Marin? He’s even less likely to get an opportunity this season, with Willian a regular and Salah on the books. He’s hardly the Mourinho type of player, being on the fragile side and hardly renowned for his tracking back and his workrate – key attributes a player that must play under Mourinho must have.
Another loan spell is unlikely to benefit either Chelsea or Marin, and given Sevilla’s public thumbs down of his time there, finding another club willing to host him may be difficult. So that leaves one option. Sell.
At first glance, finding a buyer might look like a hard task too. Yet there are two factors in Chelsea’s favour. Firstly, his purchase price was a measly £6million, which means he can be offloaded for peanuts without the club having to take a huge financial hit on the deal. Secondly, his reputation back in Germany remains relatively undimmed by his failure to succeed in England or Spain. In Germany, he is still remembered as one of the most promising young players of his generation, and it should not be too difficult to find a Bundesliga club willing to take a punt on him, especially at a bargain basement price.
Marin is hardly likely to be remembered as one of Chelsea’s more successful forays into the transfer market. But if he can be offloaded this summer, it may be one of less costly failures.