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Opinion

What has happened with Timo Werner?

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Roar Rookie
11th January, 2021
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Timo Werner has just scored his first goal in 12 matches for Chelsea when he doubled the Blues lead in an eventual 4-0 victory against lowly Morecambe in the FA Cup third round.

This came with much relief for not only Timo but for Frank Lampard and the fans, who were becoming increasingly angry and frustrated with his inability to score or to play well. Some were seriously questioning the 53 million euro transfer fee bestowed on him.

In the previous seven matches, he has scored seven goals and gathered two assists, so what has gone wrong with the German talisman? Is it just a bad form slump, or is he a 53 million euro flop?

Striker or winger?
Many fans believe that Werner is playing out of position, and that is what is leading to his poor performances.

Playing the majority of the season on the left-wing, with either Tammy Abraham or Olivier Giroud complimenting him, this has come with backlash. Fans believe he should be playing as the number 9.

However, what some fans don’t seem to realise is that Werner was playing on the left-wing for RB Leipzig the season before being bought by Chelsea.

In his final season with RB Leipzig, Werner played on the left-wing for the majority of games, with either Patrik Schick or Yussuf Poulsen acting as that support role which Abraham or Giroud is doing at Chelsea

Having admitted that the English league is “very physical” and “not what he was expecting”, using him as a winger would help him adapt to the pace and physicality of the league more smoothly, as well as playing him in a position where he is comfortable.

That’s rather than sticking him in an unnatural position and expecting goals from him immediately.

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An interesting stat to note, in the most recent game where he played as a number 9, against Manchester City. He had the lowest touches out of everyone who started for Chelsea.

Timo Werner

Timo Werner (TF-Images/Getty Images)

This role he played at RB Leipzig is the same role that Werner is playing for the majority of this season, as it was working, with the aforementioned seven goals in seven games being proof of that statement. But after a poor run of form, fans are questioning where he is being played, rather than the way he is playing.

Too many errors
In this poor spell of games, there has been a considerable difference in the way Timo Werner is playing. He looks lethargic and unmotivated, he is sloppy and gives the ball away a lot more than a player of his quality and reputation should.

This should act as a cause of concern more than his inability to score goals.

For example, in the aforementioned match against Manchester City, he had 0 key passes, one successful dribble, 0 big chances created, he competed in seven ground duals and only won one of them and was dispossessed 15 times.

Compare this with a match when he was in prime goal-scoring form against Southampton he looked lively and energetic, explosive and always threatening. This translates to the stats which show that he had one key pass, three successful dribbles, one big chance created, he won 50 per cent of his ground duels and he was dispossessed only six times.

This showed that when Timo’s confidence is up, he is tough to play against and that is not even acknowledging his efforts in front of goal.

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However, when his confidence is down, it shows and he is a shadow of the player he is which is why many fans have been critical of him because everyone knows that talent he possesses, it’s the lack of showing that talent is what aggravates the fans.

Poor finishing
With the heavy reliance on Abraham and Giroud to score goals last season, the Chelsea board saw that they desperately needed a readymade talisman who can bang in the goals straight away, and with 28 goals in 33 starts in the Bundesliga, Timo Werner looked to be the perfect option.

After a solid start to this season, the dry patch that he is in is causing major concern in the inner sanctum of Chelsea, but what’s caused this?

It has already been established that his general play has decreased a lot with the lack of confidence, but what about his finishing? Is he getting chances and can’t finish them, or can he just not get chances at all?

Timo Werner has missed eight big chances in the Premier League this season, fourth most in the league. With six of those being in this poor spell of form.

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Werner’s expected goals this season in the Premier League is 6.6, and with only a goal tally of four, this shows major underachievement in what is capable and what is expected of Werner.

Can he rebound?
A man of the quality of Timo Werner will never stay down for long, the club has full faith that all he is missing is some confidence, and that form is temporary, and class is permanent.

All these stats above show that when Timo is on, he is a very hard opponent to beat and can punish you with his blistering pace and deadly finishing. It’s just when he isn’t on, he struggles to have an impact even when he is not playing well.

Overall I believe that he will rebound and end the season with 15+ goals, he has shown that he has the quality and once the rest of the squad gel and cohesion can be developed, then the goal will come in a flurry for Timo Werner.