The Werder Bremen ace, formerly hailed as 'the German Messi', is set to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer after agreeing terms with the Premier League outfit
By Clark Whitney | Goal.com International German Editor
In his early years as a Monchengladbach player, Marko Marin was dubbed the "German Messi." Born in modern Bosnia, the diminutive attacker offered a skill set very uncommon in the Bundesliga: his dribbling in particular was phenomenal.
After monitoring his progress with the club's reserves, then-Gladbach senior coach Jupp Heynckes gave the 18-year-old his Bundesliga debut in March of 2007. The Foals were eventually relegated, but the following year Marin became the club's glimmer of hope as he took the 2. Bundesliga by storm.
Five goals and 13 assists in Germany's second tier turned heads, and in May of 2008, the talented winger was nominated to Joachim Low's provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2008.
Although he was eventually cut from the squad, Marin earned his first cap before the tournament, and in his second cap, an August friendly against Belgium, he scored his first international goal at senior level. It appeared at the time that he was destined for greatness.
Marin had a successful 2008-09 season at Gladbach, and after winning the Under-21 European Championship in the summer, earned a transfer to Werder Bremen. He spent three years at the Weserstadion, but during his time has not made the next step and instead has stagnated.
|'THE GERMAN MESSI'
(Mar 07-Jun 09)
There are many factors that have contributed to Marin's woes at Werder. In his first season, he was one of many attacking options at Werder, with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Hunt providing service. After Ozil's departure in 2010, Marin was pulled into a central playmaking role, a move that can only be regarded as an utter failure.
He struggled to make an impact, and this season has only played a limited role, scoring just once and giving three assists in 18 games. Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf found his replacement last season in Mehmet Ekici, and Marin's time at Bremen was surely set to end with the current season.
Marin's move to Chelsea is a big risk for the 23-year-old, who might have been better off choosing a smaller club with less pressure. In terms of playing style, the Premier League is a better fit for him than the Bundesliga, and especially Bremen.
In a central role at Werder, he rarely had room to dribble, and his deficiency in decision-making was highlighted. He is no Messi, but more of an Angel Di Maria: a player with great one-on-one skill, but one who often puts his head down and lacks the subtlety required in a central player.
At Chelsea, Marin will benefit from the open play that typifies the English game, and will relish the opportunity to move back to his natural role on the wing. He comes with plenty to prove, however, he will have to be far better at Stamford Bridge than he has been at Bremen, and one big question mark lies over his fitness. With all things considered, it is a very dangerous move for Marin, who could spend his best years on the bench.
From Chelsea's perspective, Marin's acquisition is a good one. The player had enormous potential when he was younger, and for a fee in the region of £5.5 million-£6.5m, it is a reasonable gamble.
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