Thomas Tuchel has hinted that Chelsea’s style of play is not suited to Timo Werner.
The Germany international moved to Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig last summer in a deal worth around £47.6m.
Expectations were high given Werner’s excellent record in the Bundesliga, but he has hitherto struggled to adapt to the Premier League.
The striker, who has played both through the middle and from the left this term, has scored only five goals in 24 top-flight appearances.
He has fared better in the Champions League, notching three goals in seven games, but the jury is still out on Werner at Chelsea.
The 24-year-old has featured in five of Tuchel’s first six league games in charge of the club.
Werner scored in the 2-0 victory over Newcastle, but that remains his only goal in the Tuchel era.
And his new boss has admitted that Chelsea’s possession-based style might not be the ideal fit for the forward.
"Maybe it is our fault because we have a lot of possession and we push opponent teams very, very deep in their half so spaces are not too big," Tuchel said ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Manchester United.
"The biggest strength of Timo is to attack the space behind the last line so it is maybe also our fault in the dominant game that we play in the moment, it is very natural that the spaces are closed by the opponents.
"A game like against Atletico [Madrid], is there any team out there in the world that can close spaces like Atletico? I don’t know. This is not exactly the opponent that you wish for Timo to show all his skills, so what is left for him is to not lose faith and work for the team.
"We are reflecting a lot about this and working a lot with him. There are also solutions in tight spaces to use his speed in the first metres, to use his acceleration.
"But it is not easy for him and I can totally see this and it is why I am very patient and very supportive and I believe in his potential and character and of course his goalscoring skills."
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