Tuchel backs ‘more relaxed’ Werner to come good at Chelsea

Club record signing Lukaku linked well with the German in 3-0 win at Tottenham

Thomas Tuchel has tipped a "more relaxed" Timo Werner to hit top form at Chelsea.

The £53 million striker has found himself on the fringes at Stamford Bridge in the early stages of the new campaign, but boss Tuchel now expects all that to change.

Club record €98 million signing Romelu Lukaku linked well with replacement Werner in Sunday's 3-0 Premier League win at Tottenham, leaving Tuchel impressed with the Germany international's signs of resurgence.

Werner is expected to feature in Wednesday's Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, where Kepa Arrizabalaga should continue in goal.


“Timo can play with Romelu, he did very well at Tottenham,” said Tuchel. “That gave us a clear impression of how dangerous these two can also be together. There was some disappointment to brush off his shoulders from the Euros during the summer. And from the first games I think he was not happy with the performances in the beginning. We know that he can be much more dangerous and much more of an attacking threat than he was.

“But in the last training sessions he’s been more relaxed, more fluid in his movements, and showing more confidence. And that’s why we put him on early against Tottenham, because we saw this development and there are clear signs that he is on a good way. And I hope he can show and prove it tomorrow.”


Tuchel will rotate his resources for Villa's cup visit to west London, especially with Manchester City pitching up at Stamford Bridge for Saturday's Premier League clash. Edouard Mendy remains sidelined with a hip issue, leaving the door open for Kepa to continue in goal.

Lukaku’s team spirit was underscored by his clear desire to nudge Werner into scoring positions at Tottenham on Sunday. Tuchel hailed Lukaku for helping out his fellow striker, then tipped Werner to seize his new-found momentum.

“Romelu knows how a striker feels that lacks goals,” said Tuchel. “But for me the most important was that Timo was in better positions and we had him again in dangerous positions around Romelu.

“And that he was not off too far out on the pitch, but he was actually in and around the box, and he had his chances in the box. He had the assist which was well done, also within the box.

“So this is more important, and more important is how he trains, not only in pure quality of training but also in attitude at the moment. He moves more freely, and in his decision-making, it’s with more confidence.

“Sometimes it needs a bit of time, and sometimes you don’t even have this one reason why things look a bit easier. But Timo is in this moment, and hopefully he can push himself now and keep this momentum going.

“Everybody is happy if he can show his skills in front of goal and be dangerous, because this is what we want, this is why he’s here. To be dangerous, score goals, to assist and to open spaces with aggressive runs. And this was a big step forward in the last game against Tottenham.”

Hip complaint

Edouard Mendy will miss Wednesday’s clash with Villa. The Senegal goalkeeper is still battling a hip complaint, and will face a race against time to be fit for Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Manchester City.

Christian Pulisic will also be a doubt as the USA forward continues to shake off an ankle issue.

Emi Buendia could return for Aston Villa. The record signing was an unused substitute in the 3-0 win over Everton after only returning from Croatia hours before, where he had been training with Emi Martinez to avoid quarantining following international duty with Argentina.

John McGinn is likely to miss out after coming off against the Toffees with concussion, with Leon Bailey unlikely to be risked after a quad injury. Trezeguet (knee) is a long-term absentee.