Tuchel defends Werner’s goal record and backs Chelsea striker to ‘still improve’

Thomas Tuchel has defended Timo Werner’s goal record this season and has backed the Chelsea striker to ‘still improve’.

Werner signed for Chelsea in a £47.5m deal from RB Leipzig last summer following a prolific spell in the Bundesliga, scoring 34 goals across all competitions last season and departing the Red Bull Arena as the club’s record goalscorer.


However, the Germany international has struggled to replicate those performances in English football and has come in for criticism this season, scoring just six Premier League goals and 12 in all competitions during a difficult campaign.

Werner’s season of struggle was summed up during Chelsea’s win over Leicester on Tuesday, as the forward had two goals disallowed, the first for offside and the second ruled out by VAR after initially being given by the goal-line technology.

Despite the forward’s disappointing goalscoring return, Tuchel has backed the under-fire forward and insists he has confidence that Werner will continue making improvements.

“He is still young and can still improve,” Tuchel said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea’s trip to face Aston Villa on Sunday.

“This is what we demand from him, not only week by week but also when there will be a bit of time to reflect and rest for him.

“I am sure that he can take the next steps. Next year he is not new anymore, he knows where he’s coming back to, he knows the environment and his team-mates, he knows what he’s up against and how to adapt and this will help him. We try to push the process right now because we need him.”

Tuchel also commented on Werner’s absence from spot-kick duties in comparison to some of Europe’s leading marksman, insisting the forward’s statistics may be viewed differently if he assumed the mantle as Chelsea’s penalty taker.

“Don’t forget that many goalscorers in Europe shoot penalties for their teams,” Tuchel added. “It’s very common that they reach these high numbers with penalties.

“If you add the penalties that we had to his numbers maybe everybody would be absolutely delighted with his first year.”

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