Chelsea forward Timo Werner is hurting his team by being too selfish in front of goal, according to former England striker Peter Crouch. Werner has gone 10 games without a goal and his dip in form has coincided with the Blues recent struggles.
The German striker joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig for an initial fee in the region of £48million in June as part of an overhaul of the Blues’ playing squad.
The 24-year-old arrived along with Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and Edouard Mendy as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich backed manager Frank Lampard in the transfer window.
Werner has scored eight goals in 22 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea so far in his debut season, but he is currently enduring a dry spell.
He has not scored since finding the net in Chelsea’s 4-1 win over bottom club Sheffield United on November 7 and his finishing has begun to become a problem, with both Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud proving more reliable in front of goal.
Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat by Arsenal on Saturday means they have now lost three of their last four league games and Werner is in line to be dropped for this evening’s game against in-form Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
Crouch, who scored 108 Premier League goals over 468 appearances for seven clubs, believes Werner’s nervousness in front of goal is having a negative impact on his team-mates, although he has backed him to turn things around.
“I thought Chelsea had pulled off a masterstroke when they signed Werner,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“If you look back at some of the things I said in the summer, one was centred on my surprise that having been linked with him so heavily, Liverpool did not pursue him more strongly.
“Let me make it clear – I am not about to change my opinion on him. He was exceptional for RB Leipzig, he is Germany’s No9 and it’s hardly like he’s started at Stamford Bridge the way I started my Liverpool career.
“But I have watched him closely a couple of times over Christmas and I picked up something that tells you he has played 949 minutes for his club since his last goal.
“He is taking shots on when he should be passing. Strikers should be selfish but not when it is to the detriment of the team.
“Werner is anxious and wants to break this sequence, but there was a moment against West Ham when he smashed a shot and his team-mates reacted with frustration, as he hadn’t done the simple thing.
“He’ll be fine, eventually, he just needs to settle down.”