Timo Werner is not “ice-cold” in front of goal and should have a further “seven or eight” efforts to his name this season, says Scott Minto, with the German said to be presenting Chelsea with a tactical dilemma. The Blues were considered to have pulled off quite the coup when luring the prolific frontman to Stamford Bridge over the summer.
Despite boasting no prior experience of life in the Premier League, Werner was tipped by many to hit the ground running in England.
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His qualities have been put to good use by Lampard, with blistering pace and predatory instincts allowing the versatile 24-year-old to play across Chelsea’s front line. Eight goals were recorded by Werner by early November, as he offered an immediate return on a £47.5 million ($65m) price tag, but he has since gone 11 games without finding the target.
Minto feels that a fixed role needs to be found for the German frontman, as he struggles to settle and find a spark, but remains convinced that value will be found in a big-money signing. The former Chelsea defender told Stadium Astro of Werner: “He’s a player. He’s a defender’s nightmare.
“If he’s going to play on that left-hand side, Frank Lampard has a decision to make. If they are going to play him on the left and have a big man up front, then you have to accept that he is going to come inside and try to link up with [Olivier] Giroud or [Tammy] Abraham, and defensively that is going to leave you open – as we saw against Arsenal.
“Or, you stick him upfront – you play him on the last defender, try and bring everybody a little bit short, make the opposition defense compact for a ball over the top or slide passes for his pace. “In terms of his finishing, he is another one that should have, and this is his fault, another seven or eight goals to his name this season.
“He has got himself, either by good movement or by doing it himself, into some fantastic positions, one-on-one with keepers, and just not been that ice-cold striker you need to be in front of goal. But I have no doubts whatsoever that he will come good.
“I do have a problem with him tactically, in terms of playing left and defending as a team, so is Frank willing to sacrifice having that protection having him on the left-hand side and coming in, or are you going to stick him upfront.
“I have no doubts he will be a big player for Chelsea over the coming years.” Chelsea, who have taken just four points from their last five Premier League fixtures, will be back in action on Sunday when they open 2021 with a testing home date against fellow title hopefuls Manchester City.