German striker Timo Werner was the headline signing in Chelsea’s massive spending spree in the Premier League’s off season.
His pace and composure in front of goal was supposed to help transform the team into a title contender.
But four months into his time in London, Werner has endured his longest scoring drought in nearly five years and struggling to find his best role in the team.
He was the final striker called upon by manager Frank Lampard in a desperate bid to break the deadlock in Chelsea’s most recent game against Fulham on Saturday.
Werner’s brief appearance as a substitute in the 1-0 win was a snapshot into the problems of a player who looks bereft of confidence.
Deep in injury time, he was handed the perfect chance to add a second goal for Chelsea. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Werner opened up his body and sent his finish wide.
His body language after that miss spoke of an unhappy player, and he was consoled by Lampard as the teams left the field.
“I hope he feels my support,” Lampard said on Monday.
“The only way through a patch where things aren’t quite going for you is to train and train, keep your attitude right, stay positive.”
Lampard said the team was focused on creating the best environment to get the best out of Werner and give him positivity.
“When you’re a top player, as Timo has shown he is, all eyes are on and it (lack of form) becomes magnified,” Lampard said.
“But the basics are the same and my job is to tell him that.”
Werner has only one goal to his name in the last two months.
Since November 14, the only goal Werner has scored in all competitions for Chelsea was a tap-in against fourth-division club Morecambe in a third-round match in the FA Cup.
In four seasons at Leipzig, he never went more than five games without scoring and netted 35 times for club and country in the 2019-20 campaign.
While Werner chiefly operated as a sole striker at Leipzig with the license to drift out wide, he has mostly been used on the left wing since his move to Chelsea for $A85 million.