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Thomas Tuchel is backing Timo Werner to discover his scoring touch for Chelsea – now that he is in Romelu Lukaku’s £98.7million shadow.
The German international, 25, endured a disappointing first season at Stamford Bridge following his £47.8m move from RB Leipzig last summer.
While his effort was faultless and lightning speed a nightmare for defences, Werner’s lack of composure in front of goal – he netted just six times in the league – became ever more conspicuous.
So much so that Chelsea, having won their second Champions League in May, opted to bring back Belgium hitman Lukaka to spearhead their misfiring attack.
However, that massive outlay on the Inter Milan ace, expected to start his second spell as a Blue this afternoon against Arsenal, does not spell the end for Werner, 25.
Far from it, according to Tuchel. Indeed, the German coach is optimistic better times lie ahead for his countryman – thanks to the spotlight switching to ex-Manchester United star Lukaku.
On the eve of their derby trip to Arsenal, the Chelsea chief declared: “I truly believe that this can be a big upgrade for him.
“Having the attention of Romelu, who likes to be in the centre of the pitch and to fight physically with defenders, can create space for Timo.
"He can now play a bit wider than he used to last season. And, then, to play around Romelu, who is like the reference as a No 9 and in the attack.
"This, hopefully, gives Timo the space to do this, to feel more freedom and that it’s easier to find more dangerous space…and to start scoring again.”
If Werner needs any more inspiration in his battle back to top form, a glance at fellow Chelsea star Jorginho should do the trick.
Not so long ago the Italian midfielder was struggling to command a regular spot under previous Blues manager Frank Lampard.
That was then. After lifting the Champions League in May and the European Championship In July, Jorginho finds himself among Uefa's Player of the Year nominees.
Tuchel revealed that his Azzurri playmaker is a massive joker off the pitch – and a deadly serious round-ball romantic on it.
“He’s a top guy. He is funny, he has a big smile on his face every day,” said the ex-Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund coach.
“And he’s in love with this game and never stops transmitting this energy from the first minute that he’s really into it and thinking about tactics.
“He loves to be involved. He’s such a positive guy. That makes him a very, very important player and a huge link in the middle of the pitch – not only for us but also for Italy.
“He organises the environment around him and, when everything’s organised, he can show his true abilities in controlling the rhythm of a game.
“He can play in advance, is good in possession and imagines what’s going to happen one or two passes ahead.
“And he is relentless on defence. He wants to be everywhere, with this huge ability to run."
- Champions League
- Frank Lampard
- Chelsea FC
- Arsenal FC
- Premier League
- Timo Werner
- Thomas Tuchel
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