The Belgian superstar is being tipped for a return to his former club this summer despite achieving glory in Italy this season
Former Chelsea star Joe Cole thinks that Timo Werner will continue to have a starring role at Chelsea but says that Inter’s Romelu Lukaku is an option that his old club can’t refuse.
With Antonio Conte leaving Inter in part due to the club’s diminished funds, there are signs that the Serie A champions may struggle to keep hold of their star striker.
Even though Chelsea have been able to reach the Champions League final against Manchester City and achieve a top-four finish, they are known to want to add a star striker. Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Dortmund’s Erling Haaland are on the list, but Lukaku currently looks like the most viable option for Chelsea.
What was said?
“I think Werner is a quality player who Chelsea needs but if Lukaku is available at the right price then Chelsea would take him,” Cole said. “He is one of the top strikers and every team will strengthen this year. To win titles, you need options and a mix of different types of players to win.”
Speaking about Saturday’s final, Cole added: “Going against Werner is all wrong for the way Pep [Guardiola, Man City manager] plays, no system is impenetrable. Pep plays a certain way and if you get it right, making the first and second pass with a player as explosive and intelligent as Timo with his runs, you will get space at some point.
“For me, Werner will probably start and he is the player to hurt them. We’ve seen great players come into this country and struggle. That along with it being Covid year, which has been difficult for everyone, but there’s been positive signs in the last few weeks with how he affects the game.
“I think he is going to be a good player for Chelsea but I just think he needs perseverance.”
Why do Chelsea need a new striker after spending so much last summer?
Chelsea spent £150 million ($213m) on three attackers last summer in Kai Havertz, Werner and Hakim Ziyech but it hasn’t translated into high goalscoring numbers.
Jorginho topped the Blues’ Premier League scoring charts with seven goals, all from the penalty spot. That’s the lowest top scorer total for Chelsea since 1975.
Therefore, the striker position has been identified as a key role to fill with Thomas Tuchel likely to allow the Blues to cash in on Tammy Abraham, who has interest from Leicester City. Olivier Giroud is also expected to leave the club, with AC Milan being mooted as a possible destination.
Who is likely to start in attack on Saturday?
Tuchel has generally favoured Werner and Mason Mount in big matches, leaving one spot open for one of Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi or Ziyech.
Mount’s status as an untouchable Blues star isn’t in question and Cole, who has spent time working as a coach at Chelsea recently, remembers the day he was blown away by the England star’s talent.
“When you play the game, you maybe see some things that others don’t see,” he added. “I remember playing a rondo or piggy in the middle-type session with him at 17. He hit this pass on the half-volley through the eye of a needle and that one pass made me realise that was special.
“It was Steven Gerrard-like. The session progressed and he showed more strings to his bow, you speak to the other lads and coaches about him and you realise that this kid has got everything. He has a top mindset and is physically better than people think while being technically supreme.
“That session was all I needed to see and I am not surprised where he is now. I have been telling that to people who doubted him in the last 12 months.”
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