Chelsea: Tuchel laughs off question on Werner's future
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It seems as though Timo Werner could be the latest big-money signing to flop at Chelsea. The Germany international could be shown the door by Roman Abramovich this summer, having toiled under both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel this season. And details have emerged ahead of their crunch Champions League showdown against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
Chelsea, back in the summer, wanted to make a statement of intent.
After finishing fourth in the Premier League table under Lampard last term, Abramovich decided to give the club legend his full support.
In a summer transfer window where most clubs were frugal, Chelsea seized the initiative – parting ways with over £200million to bring in big names.
Kai Havertz was the costliest, Thiago Silva was free and the likes of Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy were somewhere in between.
The signing of Werner, however, was particularly hailed.
After scoring 34 goals across all competitions for RB Leipzig last term, the Blues decided to gazump Liverpool in order to win the race for the striker’s future.
But, during his time in England, the goals have dried up.
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Werner was poor under Lampard, failing to discover his best form with his woes in front of goal partially contributing to the 42-year-old’s sacking in January.
And he’s failed to get going under Thomas Tuchel, either.
Tuchel has talked Werner up publicly. But, on the touchlines during matches, he’s vented his fury at the German on multiple occasions throughout his short reign.
And, now, Abramovich could be set to show his brutal side.
Chelsea could use Werner in a swap deal with Borussia Dortmund to land Erling Haaland, who Tuchel has earmarked as his No 1 transfer target.
It would mean a quick return to his homeland for the former and, in Haaland, they’d be signing one of the best players of his generation.
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It’s also been claimed the Blues may use Werner in another swap deal for Paulo Dybala, who has long been of interest to the Stamford Bridge hierarchy.
And, ahead of tonight’s match against Atletico, it seems as though Abramovich is about to show his brutal side.
This is a man who stuck with Andriy Shevchenko, even sacking Jose Mourinho for his failure to accommodate the Uruguay international into his side.
Carlo Ancelotti also met the same fate when he failed to get Fernando Torres fully firing, with Abramovich opting to keep faith in the Spain international in 2011.
But with Werner, it seems things are different.
Perhaps the Russian has learned from mistakes of the past. Mourinho and Ancelotti’s replacements, Avram Grant and Andre Villas-Boas, both didn’t meet expectations.
Yet it still seems unfair on Werner, who is already facing a fight for his future in west London.
Speaking in February, the striker admitted he felt ‘guilty’ over his Chelsea struggles – claiming he’d underestimated how touch the Premier League would be.
“When you come here to play as a striker and be the man to score the goals, of course I felt a little bit guilty that I missed so many chances,” he said.
“For the club, for the old manager but also for me because I want to score all the time and as much as I possibly can.
“Of course, if I’d scored four or five more goals maybe the old manager would still be here because we’d maybe have won two or three games more but you can’t look too much into the past because there are too many games ahead of us.
“The past was like this and of course I feel a little bit guilty, but in football you have to go on, and now we have a lot of big games in the next few weeks and you have to look forward, especially when you have a new manager.
“It’s a new beginning for everybody, for me as well because I’d missed so many chances and so many points, maybe I start now with a new start, and it’s worked very well until now.
“I understood the old manager very well.
“It was not because of the language, but when you can talk German to someone, there are things he can explain to me easier than the old manager could.
“It’s different when you talk to someone in your own language because one word is enough to make a sentence completely different.
“For me, that was the thing he changed.
“He knows me and his assistants know me from the Bundesliga. He gave me trust back and confidence back to be the Timo from the Bundesliga, to be back at the top and scoring goals.”
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