Timo Werner scored only his third goal in his last 33 Premier League appearances against Southampton and he has been told time is running out to convince Chelsea he is worth keeping around
The German forward has been used sparingly by Thomas Tuchel in the first months of the season, starting just two Premier League matches.
Tuchel’s decision to bring in £97.5million striker Romelu Lukaku came after a barren debut season in England for Werner, who scored just six times in 35 league appearances.
What was more embarrassing for the 26-year-old was that holding midfielder Jorginho finished the season as their top goalscorer with seven goals all from the penalty spot.
Werner’s inability to convert chances saw him scapegoated for Chelsea’s poor run of form which led to Frank Lampard’s sacking in January this year.
The former RB Leipzig star, who signed in a £53m deal in June 2020, looked a relieved man after scoring his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday.
But former Blues striker Tony Cascarino believes that with his lack of goals, time is running out for Werner to prove to his manager that he is worth keeping around.
“Thomas Tuchel’s comment that there were “a lot of things to improve” for Timo Werner after his goal against Southampton was telling,” Cascarino wrote in his column for The Times.
“Chelsea fans have been loyal to misfiring centre forwards, such as Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres, in the past and the same has been true of Werner, but strikers cannot be simply OK at big clubs.
Will Timo Werner score more goals than Fernando Torres in his time at Chelsea? Comment below.
“The German cannot continue to miss so many big chances, because otherwise — just as with Shevchenko and Torres — the club will move him on.”
He was used regularly last season as the west London outfit won the Champions League, missing only three games in the Premier League.
Yet it was only his third goal since November 2020 in the league, highlighting his struggles in adapting to the demands of the Premier League.
Werner was linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund earlier in the summer as it emerged that Chelsea were interested in landing Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.
However, the club opted to sign Lukaku for a second time after Dortmund made clear their intention to keep the 20-year-old.
Tuchel admitted he was “relieved” to see Werner find the net, but called on the striker to improve further, having seen the £47.5m man have a goal ruled out by VAR and later miss two gilt-edged chances.
“Yes we are all relieved, him and me and the whole club,” said Tuchel.
“Every time he scores we have the feeling there is a VAR decision to take it away from him, there have been a lot of very narrow decisions.
“I remember one against Liverpool that was super close. He has to keep on going and a lot of things to improve. We’re happy and relieved that he scored.
“It was very, very important goal for us to secure the win. And on the other hand he was there when he needed to be.”
Werner has linked up with the Germany national team for their World Cup qualifiers against Romania and North Macedonia after being called up by head coach Hansi Flick.