Better than prime Roberto Firmino: Why Chelsea’s £45M man Timo Werner is not completely useless

Is Timo Werner COMPLETELY useless? Chelsea fans have been asking themselves that question all season long, but it turns out he actually might not be.

Werner fired blanks once again for the Blues against Fulham on Saturday evening, having missed a gilt-edged chance against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final midweek.

MORE: Club President flies in for talks as Chelsea’s interest in £105m rated star grows stronger

The German, since signing from RB Leipzig in the summer in a deal worth £45M, as per Sky Sports, has been hugely underwhelming.

Six goals in 32 Premier League games is a disappointing return from a player who scored 34 goals in all competitions last time around.

The German has struggled to strike the right chord at Stamford Bridge, even since the arrival of compatriot Thomas Tuchel.

Timo Werner Chelsea

Timo Werner has not been entirely convincing for Chelsea

Some could be forgiven for writing him off as another expensive flop to arrive in SW6. There’s been a few, especially in the striking department.

However, when you crunch the numbers, Werner is not significantly less productive than many of his counterparts, who don’t get anywhere near as much negative press as he does.

Reddit user u/MelonLord10 has compared Werner’s output to that of Chelsea attackers of the past, and he’s not a million miles away from competing.

  • Giroud 18-19: 2204 mins, 13 goals, 10 assists. (0.93 GA/90)
  • Hazard 18-19: 3909 mins, 21 goals, 17 assists. (0.87 GA/90)
  • Pedro 16-17: 2707 mins, 13 goals, 11 assists. (0.79 GA/90)
  • Hazard 17-18: 3718 mins, 17 goals, 11 assists. (0.68 GA/90)
  • Hazard 14-15: 4433 mins, 19 goals, 11 assists. (0.61 GA/90)
  • WERNER 20-21: 3337 mins, 11 goals, 10 assists. (0.57 GA/90
  • Willian 19-20: 3357 mins, 11 goals, 9 assists. (0.53 GA/90)

Werner has been frequently fielded out-wide this campaign, so it’s not unfair to measure him against the lines of Willian, Pedro and Eden Hazard.

He, at least, looks to be an improvement on Willian, who was never particularly productive during his time as a Chelsea player.

Of course, he falls short of Eden Hazard’s output, but not drastically, and the Belgian was considered the best player in the Premier League during 17/18 (0.68 GA/90) and 14/15 (0.61 GA/90).

There’s also been comparison provided by u/MelonLord10 to Liverpool’s superstar attack from last season. It was certainly productive and successful enough to be used as a benchmark.

  • Salah 19-20: 3869 mins, 23 goals, 12 assists. (0.81 GA/90)
  • Mane 19-20: 3570 mins, 22 goals, 9 assists(0.78 GA/90)
  • Firmino 19-20: 3795 mins, 10 goals, 12 assists. (0.52 GA/90)

Back in September 2019, Brazilian journalist Natalie Gedra told Sky Sports‘ Sunday Supplement show, “There’s a discussion in Brazil about if he is the best player to have ever played in the Premier League.”

Firmino finished the season with a lower goals/assist per 90 ratio than Werner boasts this campaign.

MORE: France legend accuses Tuchel of playing struggling summer signing out of position

It’s difficult to compare player-to-player specifically, especially in different teams playing under different managers.

However, Werner is judged harshly on his direct goal contributions, while Chelsea fans would tell you that he never actually plays that badly.

roberto firmino

Roberto Firmino’s form has taken a hit this season

The argument in defence of Firmino’s goal output has always been – just watch him, and you’ll see.

While there’s no doubt that Werner needs to improve in front of goal and is severely lacking in confidence at current, watch him, and you’ll see why he plays.

Thomas Tuchel is an absolute fiend of the counter-press, and Werner is the ideal forward to put it into action.

His influence both in terms of forcing turnovers, and even creating for his teammates, go some way to negating his shortfalls in front of goal.

It’d be unreasonable to think that rival fans ought to recognise Werner’s silent influence and put a stop to the digs and criticisms on social media.

However, Chelsea fans can be happy with what he’s produced in his debut season as a Blue, even if they were expecting more, and even if they will demand more going forward.

Roberto Firmino has been given the ‘just watch him, you’ll see’ pass for several years now. It’s about time Timo was too.

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