Andre Schurrle believes one of the reasons he struggled to shine at Chelsea was because of Eden Hazard, who the Germany international claims is guaranteed a place in Jose Mourinho's side and is granted more freedom than his teammates.
Schurrle spent 18 months with Chelsea, scoring 14 goals in 65 appearances, before he was sold to Wolfsburg for £22 million back in February.
The 24-year-old felt he was always up against it at Stamford Bridge, partly due to Mourinho's favouritism of Hazard, although he understands why the brilliant Belgium international is granted special dispensation by the revered Portuguese coach.
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“It’s difficult for young players at Chelsea because they’re a big team with big stars,” Schurrle was quoted as saying by The Times. “It’s not easy to play every match. It’s even harder for the wingers as there are only two in the team and Eden plays always, as he’s the best player in the league. So you have one position on the right wing which was between Willian, Oscar, myself, sometimes Mata, occasionally De Bruyne.
“The other thing is that Eden is given more freedom so the other winger has to work even harder. You have to work for that freedom, and Eden deserves it as he creates everything up front. He scores goals and makes assists so it’s right he should have that freedom.
“It’s a bit different for the right winger. You have to work back a little bit more. When one player gets more freedom the rest of the team has to adjust, but makes it a little bit more difficult to play on the other side.”
Mourinho was right to sell Schurrle
Schurrle, who won the World Cup with Germany in Brazil last summer, was only able to show glimpses of his class in the Premier League.
His standout moment came in March 2014, when he scored a hat-trick against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Several weeks later, the German was named Man of the Match in Chelsea's 6-0 demolition of Arsenal.
Like De Bruyne was after his departure from Chelsea in January 2014, Schurrle will be determined to prove Mourinho wrong with eye-catching performances in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg.
However, after only managing to score one goal in 22 appearances for the German club in the second half of last season, it seems Mourinho may have made a smart decision to sell on this occasion.
Chelsea fans: is Eden Hazard treated too favourably by Jose Mourinho - or is Andre Schurrle talking rubbish? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!