Timo Werner claims the style of football at Chelsea may be working to his detriment after suggesting he is more comfortable playing for Germany.
Werner has been something of an enigma since joining Chelsea from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2020. His form in the Bundesliga with Leipzig had been prolific. But he has not been able to replicate it in the Premier League.
Indeed, he scored just six times among 35 league appearances in his debut season in English football. This time around, he has only managed one goal from 14 top-flight outings.
Since the start of the season, he has scored six times in all competitions for his club, and the same amount for his country in 21 fewer appearances.
His latest international goal came on Saturday, when Germany beat Israel 2-0 in a friendly. It took his tally for his nation up to 22 goals from 48 caps.
That ratio is far superior to what he has managed with Chelsea. The Blues have been rewarded with just 19 goals from 80 appearances.
There could have been more were it not for a number ruled out due to offsides. But Werner also attributes the different styles of play to his contrasting form for club and country.
Although admitting he still enjoys his football at Chelsea, Werner has made it clear things are not going how he wants with them. It only becomes more apparent when he rediscovers his shooting boots in the German colours.
After the win over Israel, he said: “I’m a striker and always want to score.
“Things aren’t going the way I’d like at Chelsea, so it’s all the better that things are going well here under Hansi Flick.
“I really enjoy playing football, no matter where I’m playing. There are differences in the style of play between football at Chelsea and here.
“Maybe the one at the national team suits me better.
“Here, I always have scoring chances, I can score goals. I feel very comfortable here.”
Timo Werner the latest striker to struggle at Chelsea
Worryingly for Chelsea, it is not the first time one of their strikers has recently questioned the suitability of their style.
A few months ago, record signing Romelu Lukaku controversially claimed Thomas Tuchel’s system was not as beneficial for him as the one he was part of under Antonio Conte at Inter Milan previously.
Lukaku suggested he would have been happy to be at Inter instead. It prompted a fall-out between himself and the head coach. The Belgian was subsequently dropped for a while.
Transfer rumours continue to linger in his case – if Chelsea are able to conduct business in the summer, that is.
Werner may be facing an uncertain future himself, two years into his Chelsea career. His contract runs until 2025.
While he and Lukaku under-perform, Werner’s compatriot Kai Havertz has usually been operating in the most advanced attacking position. It remains to be seen if either of the more natural centre-forwards can work their way back into Tuchel’s regular plans.