Timo Werner has opened up on his time at Chelsea and why he ‘wanted out’, saying he ‘didn’t feel honoured’.
Werner was a high-profile arrival at Chelsea in 2020, making a £47.5 million move from RB Leipzig where he had become the club’s record goalscorer with 95 goals in 159 appearances.
The Germany international struggled to reproduce those goalscoring numbers in the Premier League, netting just 12 goals in 52 appearances during his debut campaign, though he still played an important role thanks to his explosive pace up front.
He netted in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid as the Blues went on to claim a second European crown in 2021, before eventually returning to Leipzig in 2022.
Speaking about his time in English football and subsequent move back to Germany, Werner said he lost the ‘enjoyment’ after being ‘forgotten’ about by Thomas Tuchel.
“I had a very good first six months at Chelsea, which was what the supporters and club expected of me,” Werner told the Sun ahead of RB Leipzig’s Champions League clash with Manchester City. “I scored the goals and played good games.
“When you come from the kind of success I had in Germany or with Chelsea — playing nearly every game in the first season, winning the Champions League in 2021, scoring in the semi-final against Real Madrid, making a lot of goals. Then all this gets a little bit forgotten by the manager, it was not really fair.
“That was also a reason I had to move back to Leipzig, to get the enjoyment again. I didn’t feel that any more but you need it to be successful.
“In the end a manager likes some players more than others — it’s completely normal and you have to accept that. Maybe yes, in the end I just wanted out.”
Following Werner’s struggles for goals, Chelsea splashed a then club-record £97.5m to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the club in 2021.
“The biggest problem was [Tuchel] put a striker like Lukaku in front of me in the second season after I won the Champions League by nearly playing every game in the first squad.
“That was the toughest moment for me to get a player, a very good player, in front of me for €120 million.
“Romelu was a big striker and had to play after costing so much and I didn’t feel honoured enough. Maybe that was also a reason why I had ups and downs.”
Frank Lampard was the Chelsea boss when Werner made the move to Stamford Bridge, though he was sacked in January 2021 and replaced by Thomas Tuchel. Werner insists he had no bad blood with his compatriot but admitted that his ‘confidence dropped’ over his time at the club.
“The manager who brought me in Lampard was sacked a few months later which was not the best for a player who joined the club after talking to this manager.
“In the end I missed some chances and was unlucky with VAR decisions. You could see my confidence dropped.
“From the outside it was easy to scapegoat me, whether that was from the media or coaches, whatever. But at least the fans were always behind me, they supported me. I can’t say anything against them.”