Thomas Tuchel makes big Timo Werner prediction ahead of Chelsea’s vs Aston Villa


Thomas Tuchel makes big Timo Werner prediction ahead of Chelsea's vs Aston Villa

Thomas Tuchel is hopeful Chelsea will see the very best version of Timo Werner in the crucial Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in a deal worth £49.5million and has endured a complex first campaign in English football. After a fast start in which he struck eight goals in 11 matches, the German international scored only three goals in six months.

But his form has improved in recent weeks and the 25-year-old played important roles in helping Chelsea reach the finals of the FA Cup and the Champions League. Werner was also instrumental in the Blues’ 2-1 victory over Leicester City on Tuesday, a result which ensures Tuchel’s side goes into the final day of the Premier League season with their top-four in their own hands.

Werner’s name was sung throughout the midweek win over the Foxes by the Chelsea supporters, who were back inside Stamford Bridge for the first time since December. That backing appeared to motivate the German forward.

He struck twice only for both goals to be ruled out by VAR. Yet in the second period, Werner won the penalty from which Jorginho scored to secure a vital three points for the Blues.

It was a very encouraging display from Werner, although almost certainly one that Chelsea expected him to produce on a consistent basis when he arrived last summer. Tuchel doesn’t believe the Blues will have to wait too long to see the best of the forward, however.

“I hope we are there on Sunday,” he told reporters at his pre-match press conference. “This is what we hope. He’s still young and can still improve. This is what we demand week by week. When he has some time to reflect, rest, some time on holiday for mental rest, I’m sure he can take the next steps next year.

He is not new anymore, he will know the environment, what he is coming back to, his teammates, what he is up against on the first game and how to adapt. This will help him.

We try to push the process right now because we need him. Don’t forget, many goalscorers in Europe shoot penalties for their team and it’s common that they reach their high numbers with penalties.

“If we add the penalties we’ve had to his numbers, many everybody would be delighted with his first year. He hasn’t scored penalties, he doesn’t take them. We should consider that. At the moment, as I’ve said, I am happy that spectators are back because they will see the effort instantly.

It’s much easier to be a critic and judge a player when you’re not in the stadium. Once you are there, close to the guys, see the effort they put into matches, it’s a bit more relative.”

Chelsea can’t afford to drop points against Aston Villa on Sunday. If they do, it will give Liverpool and Leicester City an opportunity to leapfrog the Blues and push Tuchel’s side out of the Premier League top four.

There will be 10,000 home supporters inside Villa Park for the game and Tuchel is aware that will make the game far harder for his players, not that he would change the situation.

“It’s an advantage and absolutely more difficult, no doubt about it but it is so much nicer and a different game to play with spectators,” he said.

“We know it increases the challenge and the adversity but we are here to step up. We have it in our hands and we want to do it until the very end.”

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