Timo Werner struggles, but Chelsea fans can’t give him up yet
We all know Timo Werner is having a rough time right now, but it was like his time at Chelsea had hit a new low in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Fulham.
The German, who handed Chelsea £ 47.5million this summer, extended his run to ten scoreless Premier League appearances by shooting blank against the ailing Cottagers, with a flying miss in the headlines the wrong reasons.
Late in the game, Werner grabbed a ball on top and had the entire half of Fulham to run to Alphonse Areola. This was the exact situation Werner had made his name out of. It was meant to be the moment he turned things around.
But he missed it.
Werner split his effort well away from goal and looked visibly distraught to do so, but it’s something he’s had to get used to in recent weeks. The shooting boots just aren’t here just yet.
His struggles have thrilled many rival fans on Twitter, Chelsea’s miserable history with strikers mentioned time and time again. Werner has already been introduced as a new Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata or Falcao – renowned strikers who forgot how to play football in London.
His form is obviously something to worry about – failing to score in ten league games when he collected 28 of 34 last season isn’t ideal – but comparing Werner to some of the poorer forwards of the club is ridiculous.
For starters, it appears that Werner’s struggles were massively taken out of context. He is a man who has nine goals and six assists in 26 appearances in all competitions. These are by no means elite numbers, but they are solid. To suggest that he has already flopped doesn’t make sense.
However, it cannot be denied that he is not playing like a £ 47.5million striker who has just rubbed shoulders with Robert Lewandowski for 12 months. Chelsea expected the goals to pour in, and put simply, they didn’t.
The blame must be shared for this one. Werner clearly hasn’t played well enough, and he’ll know he needs to do more to justify his price tag, but Frank Lampard hasn’t always given him the tools he needs to impress.
On that ten-game dry run, Werner has spent the first seven games as a left-winger, a position he’s comfortable in but would never say is the strongest. He was only an attacker in the last three, including two as a substitute after the 70th minute.
Of his 26 appearances this year, only nine have been as a forward, so his nine-goal comeback suddenly doesn’t look so bad.
The talent is obviously in there, but it’s up to Werner, Lampard and everyone else at Chelsea to find a way to maximize it.
He’s always in the right positions to score, and most importantly, that means he’s pretty good. Werner has shown the positioning and movement to be a deadly striker, but he has yet to replenish him with the finishing skills he left in the Bundesliga.
Its a question of confidence. We saw this with Torres and we absolutely saw this with Morata, who seemed to carry the weight of Stamford Bridge on her shoulders every minute of her existence. It’s up to Werner to do what the others couldn’t and show he’s strong enough to come out of this crisis.
What Werner has on his side is a recent pedigree. While Torres was in decline when he arrived and Morata had very little experience as a clear starting striker for a team, we know for a fact that Werner is just getting started.
He’s up for the challenge, but he could do it soon.
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