It is no secret to say that Timo Werner has had an inconsistent time of things at Chelsea since his big money move from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2020.
The main facts are this – 18 goals and 17 assists in 68 appearances since joining the club for £47.5million. On the face of it, that’s not the worst return of all time.
Compare it to his Leipzig stats, 95 goals and 40 assists in 159 appearances, then it might seem a bit underwhelming.
Werner has become a target for rivals supporters for his, shall we say, wasteful finishing, especially when it comes to converting simple chances in front of goal ever since he somehow failed to score from a couple of yards out against Leeds last season
Yes, both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel have shown plenty of faith in Werner, who was back among the goals at the weekend in the 5-1 rout of Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round.
The German striker has been restricted to just 16 appearances this season. He suffered a hamstring strain in the Champions League win over Malmo which kept him out for six weeks, then was struck down by Covid after his second start upon returning from injury.
Tuchel admitted just last week that Werner had suffered more than most from that round of positive cases, returning three games after Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku, who tested positive on the same day as Werner as Chelsea suffered an outbreak at Cobham.
The 25-year-old has played two games since his return, getting the second half off the bench against Spurs in the Carabao Cup and the whole 90 minutes versus Chesterfield.
The Blues had to do without Werner for most of their brutal December that saw them play nine games in four weeks but now he’s back and, you suspect, ready to prove a point.
Tuchel has previously criticised Werner, most notably last season after he actually scored in a 1-0 win over West Ham but spurned a glorious chance to double the lead.
He then missed another straightforward chance in the following game, the 1-1 Champions League semi-final draw against Real Madrid in Valdebebas.
“He missed a big one at West Ham and now he’s missed a big one here, that does not help,” Tuchel remarked.
“There are millions of people who have harder things to deal with than chances that you miss.
“So the good thing about sport is that no one cares tomorrow, today we were sad and angry in the moment – this is normal.
“He is sad, he is angry and disappointed. He’s a top guy, a professional guy. He works hard. He’s in the position. He will not stop believing.
“Everyone accepts the situation like it is. With strikers, if you score in the next game, nobody speaks.”
Werner got himself back among the goals at the weekend and with Manchester City on the horizon, it poses an intriguing question for Tuchel.
Werner exploited Liverpool’s high line earlier this season to fine effect without getting on the scoresheet in the 1-1 draw. Kai Havertz had that honour instead as Chelsea secured a point with ten men following Reece James’ sending off.
Could he do the same against Man City this weekend? Perhaps, and with Romelu Lukaku now back among the squad as well following his shenanigans with the Italian media, plus the duo playing together against Chesterfield, it might have been a hint to see how Tuchel could set up at the Etihad.