Timo Werner: Thomas Tuchel backs forward and insists Chelsea will improve with or without new signings

Thomas Tuchel has backed “20/30-goal” forward Timo Werner to find his best form and insists Chelsea will improve next season – with or without new signings.

Germany international Werner, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig for €50m (£45m) last summer, has scored six times in 31 Premier League games in what has been a largely difficult first year in England.

As well as a lack of goals, he has also missed several key opportunities over the course of the campaign, prompting Chelsea head coach Tuchel to recently admit the 25-year-old’s inability not to take “big chances” is becoming a frustration.

  • Chelsea’s striking problem up front
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  • Chelsea vs Fulham on Sky: Kovacic, Rudiger missing

However, when asked if he thinks buying a 20-goal a season striker will make a massive difference to his squad, Tuchel told Sky Sports: “You will not find one manager who will not add a 20-goal striker to his squad. I cannot have enough of them, if you can guarantee that.

“But this is what Chelsea bought, they bought Timo Werner and he is a 20/30-goal striker a year. Now he is struggling a little bit, for the first time in his career.

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“I have known him since he was 17. He scored every year in youth football. When he was 16 he played under-18, when he was 17 he played under-19 and he never stopped scoring.

“In any transfer, there are risks of adaptations, change of country, change of mentality. It needs time. It’s not a puzzle where you identify one piece and you go out and find the exact piece, it’s more than that and that’s why there is no rush and no panic.”

According to reports, Chelsea have made former striker Romelu Lukaku their top target this summer after accepting defeat in the race to sign Erling Haaland.

Lukaku has scored 61 goals in 91 appearances for Inter Milan since joining from Manchester United in 2019, while Borussia Dortmund’s Haaland has 53 goals in 56 games for the Bundesliga club.

When asked if either of those forwards would turn Chelsea into one of the most frightening attacking prospects in European football, Tuchel insisted his side will improve next season – with or without new players.

“First of all, the most important is Champions League football,” he said. “After that, we can talk about with whom we play Champions League football, but one thing is very, very clear, we will be stronger next year.

“If we play with the same squad, we will be stronger because I demand it of myself. I’m more experienced, we are more used to each other we know each other better.

“So, this is all set to the next step and to not stay on the same level. The guys are hungry, they have the mentality and the attitude that is needed to grow and to get better.

“That’s why I am 100 per cent sure that even if we do absolutely nothing, we have a lot of players who have not reached that top level yet.”

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