Thomas Tuchel calls on Timo Werner to seize latest Chelsea lifeline after hints of goalscoring form

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 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel has told Timo Werner to seize the moment after reaching a potential turning point in his Chelsea career.

The German striker scored his first Premier League goal since April in the 3-1 win against Southampton just before the international break. And he continued that form with two for his country in their 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against North Macedonia on Monday.

With Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic unavailable for Saturday’s West London derby with Brentford, Werner is set to start for the third-straight game in the league.

Tuchel hopes he has finally rediscovered his scoring touch after a wretched period in front of goal, dating back to November last year when he found the back of the net just four times in 45 games – spanning last season and this.

Chelsea’s manager hinted Werner would keep his place in a bid to capitalise on his form.

“With strikers you feel sometimes that it is a little bit like this, that you keep them on the pitch and you keep the momentum going, but it is actually not only with strikers,” he said. “It is about the actual form. It is about confidence - it is about the actual moment.

“We have so many games normally we cannot wait for players to re-find their full potential. Normally we want to have these guys on the pitch who are actually in shape, who have confidence and a certain momentum.”

Werner’s Chelsea future has looked uncertain amid his on-field struggles, along with the arrival of £97.5million club record signing Romelu Lukaku.

Kai Havertz and Mason Mount are Tuchel’s preferred options either side of the Belgian in a front three, while Ziyech, Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also competing for places.

But Werner appeared to make a major step forward with a match-winning performance against Southampton, which secured top spot for Chelsea.

Tuchel claimed his biggest concern was that the international break interrupted what could have been a chance to give Werner a run of games.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“What we have to reflect on is Timo was not here, so he had a very good match, he scored the late winner against Southampton, that should give him a lot of confidence,” he said. “But that was two weeks ago.

“Today we showed some pictures from the Southampton game, it feels a bit weird because this game is so long ago and the guys played three other matches in between, but it was our last match and we showed certain behaviours from the match and we want to reintroduce and to reconnect with that feeling. It is not that easy.

“For him it is the same. He needs to restart tomorrow and when he gets the chance to start give the same kind of performance than against Southampton and from there we go.”

After a daunting start to the season that has seen Chelsea face Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City, the European champions face a much kinder set of fixtures against Brentford, Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley that will give them the chance to build on their one-point lead at the top.

But Tuchel has warned of the threat of Brentford, who have already beaten Arsenal and drawn with Liverpool this season.

“They will be ready to over perform,” he added. “This is what they do in every single game. If you arrive at a London derby and Chelsea arrive after many, many years for a Premier League game and not for a cup game or a friendly, then you are ready in these clubs to overperform.

“The good thing is we know. We know today that this will happen and we cannot be surprised tomorrow, and that’s why we can accept, if you want to put us in the favourites role, yes we are.

“But then the important question is what does this say? Does it become easier? No it does not. It becomes even harder, we have to invest even more, because it has such high value to play against us and to have a good result and good duels, and this will be a tough one tomorrow.

“And if we are aware and aware mentally, then we have also a good chance to win, because we have a certain quality. But we have to match the enthusiasm and the confidence and the motivation they bring on the pitch for 90 plus minutes. They will not give us anything.”

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