90min
Chelsea

Timo Werner: What's going on *now* buddy?

Ross Jackson
Timo Werner missed an absolute sitter against Real Madrid
Timo Werner missed an absolute sitter against Real Madrid / Soccrates Images/Getty Images
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A few months ago we asked what was going on with Chelsea's Timo Werner.

Within the piece we provided a few caveats such as 'eight goals in 22 outings isn't actually that bad', yet four months on he's added just three goals to that tally. So, just what is going on, Timo?

The German's tally of 11 goals in 45 games for the Blues would look pretty respectable were he plucked from out of nowhere for a mere £3m by a side struggling to create chances at the bottom end of the Premier League.

However, as a £45m forward playing in a side containing a plethora of attacking midfielders capable of unlocking defences in the blink of an eye, 11 goals is quite honestly pathetic.

Some will argue that his 12 assists since arriving at Stamford Bridge negate the need to even question his performances, yet Chelsea didn't buy him to be a creative midfielder. In fact, if there's one position on the pitch that Chelsea don't need to strengthen it's their wingers and creative midfielders.

Imagine shelling out nearly £50m on a winger who was creating chances for fun at his old club and trying to justify his lacklustre assist return with the excuse 'he's really good in the air so is good at defending set pieces' - that's all well and good but he's a winger not a centre-back, football doesn't work like that.

Timo Werner has had an awful time of late
Timo Werner has had an awful time of late / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

With Chelsea reportedly set to listen to offers for strike duo Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud this summer, Thomas Tuchel is seemingly willing to give Werner time, though his performances over recent months have done little to suggest that's a wise idea.

The Germany international's sheer lack of confidence in front of goal reared its ugly head once again in the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Tuesday night, as he missed a gilt-edged opportunity from all of six yards out.

It wasn't just the fact he spurned a glorious chance in a Champions League semi-final that made the miss so worrying, but more the nature of the miss as he showed a complete lack of conviction or courage in the strike - something which should be second nature to a goalscorer when presented with an opportunity like that.

One thing that we will say of the miss is that Werner at least managed to get himself into a goalscoring position.

Tuchel has admitted to banning the German from extra shooting practice because he believes finishing chances should come naturally to a man who was so prolific in the Bundesliga, which kinda makes sense in a way, yet the crux of our issue with Werner is the rest of his game in recent months has suggested said chances could soon be on the wane.

There's absolutely no conviction in any of his runs anymore and on countless occasions against Real Madrid his teammates would pick their head up and look for the jet-heeled forward's run, yet there was nothing to be seen in terms of movement off the ball.

Real played with a back three who frankly couldn't have looked less suited to the system, with Nacho in particular having a bit of a nightmare.

The Werner who scored with such consistency for RB Leipzig would have instantly spotted such frailty and preyed on their lack of confidence, but instead he found himself almost hiding behind Real defenders and trying not to be picked out.

The job of a striker is to score goals, yet many frontmen get by on other attributes like being able to provide a focal point to the attack or playing on the shoulder of the last man and helping to stretch the game by providing teammates with space - Werner isn't offering any of that right now and he's certainly not providing goals.

We should probably be lauding Tuchel's decision to offer Werner a second chance at Chelsea - if indeed that is his plan - because the cut-throat nature of top-level football can be ridiculous at times and it's nice to see a player come in from a foreign country and be afforded time to settle.

But we just don't see it.

Werner is offering absolutely nothing to suggest his Chelsea career could take off at any moment, and if the Blues are serious about offloading Abraham and Giroud this summer they'll be taking an absolutely monumental risk.


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