Skip to main content

Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea’s style of play does not suit striker Timo Werner

Timo Werner
(Image credit: PA)

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).

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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab)

"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] (opens in new tab), 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."

While you're here, subscribe to FourFourTwo today and save 37% (opens in new tab). All the exclusive interviews, long reads, quizzes and more but with more than a third-off normal price.


FEATURE  (opens in new tab)Pep Guardiola: Season by season in the Champions League (opens in new tab)

BEST PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS EVER: 100 greatest footballers in England's top flight since 1992 (opens in new tab)

QUIZ Can you name every Champions League and European Cup-winning manager? (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.