Germany may have stumbled at their opening game of Euro 2020, but one former star has faith in a maligned striker.
Lothar Matthaus has urged Thomas Tuchel to play Timo Werner as a striker for Chelsea in the future so that he can reach the levels of Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Robert Lewandoski as the world’s best number centre-forwards.
Matthaus believes the negativity around Werner is incredibly harsh and Euro 2020 will serve as a reminder of his class.
“He was the top scorer for Chelsea, nobody scored more goals for Chelsea,” he told the Daily Mail. “This player was not wearing the No 9 and playing there every weekend like Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku or Robert Lewandowski.
“Give the player the chance to play every Saturday or Sunday [as a centre forward] and Werner will score more than 20 goals in the Premier League. He was doing that at Leipzig, 28 goals and second in the Bundesliga behind Lewandowski.”
Matthaus’ argument that Werner criticism is unfair does make a bit of sense, especially considering how Werner helped the Blues to win the Champions League in his first season after playing much of it from the forward flanks.
However, based on evidence from last season’s campaign, where Werner scored just six times in 35 appearances in England’s top division – whereas the other three all won the golden boot in their respective leagues – perhaps some of what the former German international said is a little optimistic.
Even if his prediction doesn’t come true, one thing that can’t be denied is that Werner gives everything for his team, as Matthaus also expressed: “He is always playing with his heart, giving his best, running right wing, left wing and backwards,” he added.
And now that he is used to the Premier League and his new surroundings, he could be set to improve next season.
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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“The problem was he came from Germany to the Premier League and it is different football, a different language and mentality, different media.
“Many things were completely new for the guy. But with Tuchel he is getting the confidence back he had before at Leipzig.
‘”I see he is missing chances but he is also playing well and he was the top scorer for Chelsea!”