CHELSEA striker Timo Werner has to improve in front of goal.
That’s the verdict of Graeme Souness and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink after the German again passed up a number of chances in the Blues’ narrow win over top four rivals Leicester City.
Werner, bought for £47.5million last summer, has struggled in front of goal all season, managing just 12 goals in 50 games – with only six of those coming in the Premier League.
He saw two goals ruled out in the 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge – one for offside and one for handball – and was wasteful on a number of occasions.
Werner, who won the decisive penalty, scored 34 goals for RB Leipzig and was expected to push Chelsea to a title challenge this season, but has drawn heavy criticism throughout the campaign.
Sky Sports pundit Souness blasted: “If Chelsea had been going through a difficult time, [Werner] would have been the target, above any other player at Chelsea, for criticism.
“His numbers are terrible for a centre forward at a big club, but he always looks like he gets chances because he is rapid, he is electric, and he would beat most people in a sprint.
“You see him afterwards celebrating with the supporters and he does not look down in spirits, which is a great thing.
“He was a goalscorer before he came to Chelsea, and it may yet happen for him, but Jorginho, your midfield player, as your top scorer with seven goals, you cannot be successful if you are relying on penalties at the highest level.”
Liverpool legend Souness then said that Chelsea must find a prolific goalscorer if they are to compete with Man City et al for the title next season.
He added: “They will have to find [a goalscorer], whether it is Timo Werner or [Kai] Havertz or someone they bring in.
“They have to get an out-and-out goalscorer, and I think that is the final piece of the jigsaw for them.”
Chelsea legend and current Burton Albion boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who scored 87 goals for the Blues, agreed with Souness – although did complement his impressive all-round game.
“I like Timo Werner’s spirit, his energy, he keeps on going, but when you are a striker at a big team, you wait for these moments when you are playing in a big match,” Hasselbaink said.
“These decisive moments are when you have to be there and put the ball in the net, and for me he has not done that enough.
“What I do like is that he puts himself in positions where he gets opportunities. Now the last bit, he has to do better. He has to be calmer and more calculated.
“Having six goals is not good enough, it is not a good return, and he knows that.
“Does he give up? No. Do I like that? Yes. But in big games you are going to get one or two big games, you have to be there and you have to make the difference.”
Hasselbaink then added that he could see Werner becoming the main man up front for Chelsea next season.
“The good thing is he is getting himself those opportunities, he is always there for that final ball,” the Dutchman added.
‘Will he become calmer? Time will tell. Do I have hope? Yes, because he keeps getting those chances, and he is stubborn like that, and you need to have that as a striker.
Werner was in high spirits after the game and could be dancing after the final whistle – although he bemoaned his terrible lucky.
He told Sky Sports: “I think the first half it was a picture of the whole season for me.
“Until now I think every time I was close but at the end not really close.
“I think for me maybe the unluckiest season I’ve ever had or I ever will have maybe.”