Andre Schürrle is hoping to make 2016 a year to remember after a trying start to his VfL Wolfsburg career.
Expectations were high when the 25-year-old Germany international returned to his homeland from Premier League club Chelsea FC last February, but the FIFA World Cup winner has only shown flashes of brilliance since.
'It can be a fantastic year'
"The last one-and-a-half months have gone well, there was a marked improvement," Schürrle told Germany’s leading sports magazine kicker ahead of the Wolves’ first competitive assignment of the calendar year away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday. "I need to keep a clear head, I’m capable of doing a lot."
Despite some mercurial performances, Schürrle’s talent is indisputable. He was a part of the 1. FSV Mainz 05 Under-19 side that won the German youth title in 2009, contributed to Chelsea’s 2014/15 Premier League triumph, helped Wolfsburg win last season’s DFB Cup and the Supercup 2015 as well as famously setting up Mario Götze’s extra-time winner against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana Stadium.
"I want to have a big part to play again like I did at the World Cup," Schürrle said with a nod to this summer’s UEFA EURO 2016 in France. "I need to hit form, be really fit. I’m going to do absolutely everything to make that happen because it can be a fantastic year. I’ve worked hard [during the winter break], I have to really go for it."
Schürrle’s involvement at the Euros will hinge on his performances in the coming months for Wolfsburg. He chipped in with five assists in 23 appearances in all competitions over the course of the Hinrunde, but only found the net twice - once in the UEFA Champions League and once in the DFB Cup.
With the seventh-placed Wolves set to be without leading scorer Bas Dost (metatarsal fracture) for at least six weeks, however, it is hoped Schürrle will seize the vacant spotlight just as he did all those months ago for Germany in Rio, and fire Wolfsburg back up the standings into the top four.