Timo Werner is arguably Chelsea’s most in-form forward after three goals in his last two games for club and country heading into the Blues’ clash with Brentford this weekend.
The German striker netted a quickfire double for his country on Monday night as they secured a place at Qatar 2022 with a 5-0 win over North Macedonia in Skopje, added to his strike for his club in the 3-1 win against Southampton prior to the international break.
Werner has banged in five goals in his last five outings for Hansi Flick’s Germany and now it is time for him to translate his international form into the Premier League.
The 26-year-old’s form over the last year and a bit have been well-documented with his struggles in front of goal, missing easy chances and not adapting to the top flight as well as was hoped after his big-money move from RB Leipzig.
But when Werner plays well, Chelsea invariably do as well as he has the ability to play between the lines and also stretch opposition defences, as he did so devastatingly away at Liverpool last season.
His tandem with Romelu Lukaku didn’t quite work as well as hoped in the defeat to Man City but it looked promising in the second half of the victory over Tottenham and also against Southampton.
Lukaku, who is fit to play for the Blues this weekend at Brentford, has been off-form in recent weeks but he too bounced back with a goal for his country during the break, scoring in Belgium’s defeat to France in the UEFA Nations League semi finals.
On paper, it all bodes well for Tuchel as his side look to cement their place at the top of the Premier League with four games on the horizon against Brentford, Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley coming up before the next international break in early November.
Werner is clearly a confidence player in terms of goal scoring but one thing that never waivers is his energy and work-rate, something that has endeared him to Blues fans despite his struggles in front of goal since moving to west London with the reputation as one of the most fearsome strikers in Europe.
To not start him against Brentford this weekend would seem remiss of Tuchel, and the head coach was asked about that at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“With strikers you might sometimes feel like this [an obligation to start them], that you keep them on the pitch and the momentum going because it is about form but not only strikers, it is the actual form and confidence and the moment,” Tuchel said.
“We have so many games, we cannot just wait for players to re-find their full potential, we normally want these guys on the pitch that are in shape, who have confidence and certain momentum.
“We have to reflect that Timo was not here but he scored the late winner against Southampton and had a good match but that was two weeks ago. Today [Friday] we showed some pictures from the Southampton game but it feels a bit weird because this game was so long ago and the guys played three other matches in between.
“You want to reintroduce and reconnect with that feeling but it is not easy but he needs to restart tomorrow and when he gets the chance to start he needs this kind of performance as against Southampton.”
That sounds like a nod to the striker getting a start against Brentford this weekend. but Werner knows as much as anyone that a below-par display can see you drop out of the side pretty quickly.
He only has to look to teammates Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech for proof of that.