Chelsea legend Michael Essien has surprisingly suggested that his old club do not need to enter the transfer market for a new striker this summer.
Timo Werner has been slightly disappointing since joining the Blues from RB Leipzig, but Essien clearly rates him highly and wants to see him given more time to develop up front.
Essien, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Chelsea v Leicester, talked up Chelsea as title favourites next season after their superb start to life under manager Thomas Tuchel.
The former Ghana international also discussed the state of Chelsea’s squad at the moment, and said he didn’t see the need for much strengthening in the transfer window.
Essien singled out Werner for praise, saying strikers should be rated on more than just their goal numbers, with the Germany international clearly having enough other qualities in his game to impress the ex-Blue.
“I love the fact that they’ve got Thiago Silva at the back, his experience really is vital to that team and he’s such a great name the younger players in the squad can learn from,” Essien said. “He commands the back line very well, but even without him, they’ve got Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen, so they’re very strong in that area.
“In terms of where else they could realistically strengthen – I’m not sure, because it’s very difficult to go out and find a quality striker available in the market.
“Plus, I really like Timo Werner, I actually think he’s done very well, particularly in recent weeks. He’s so tricky to keep up with so if he can start adding goals to his game next season I don’t think it’s an area Chelsea will need to look at strengthening.
“Even without scoring goals, he’s still contributing so much to the team, giving assists to his teammates and playing a vital role in winning games. But as a striker, especially at that price, when you’re not scoring, people tend not to look at anything else that you do other than your goal ratio.”
Still, another former Chelsea star, Alan Hudson, recently told CaughtOffside he thinks the west London giants are still lacking a true number 9 as he urged them to go for Harry Kane.