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Werner’s runs can help Chelsea to top-four finish



Timo Werner, Chelsea

Adrian Clarke says German’s movement and energy will be vital at Aston Villa on the final day

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Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points in Matchweek 38.Sunday 23 MayAVL    CHE

When a striker is not scoring goals they need to help their team in different ways, and Timo Werner is certainly doing that for Chelsea.

Werner has scored only six times in his debut Premier League season and has a conversion rate of just 11.1 per cent.

However, his eight assists mean none of Thomas Tuchel’s players have produced more direct goal involvements this term than the German.

This is why Werner is destined to start in Chelsea’s crucial match at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Villa’s defenders will be wary of Werner’s pace and his desire to make runs in behind them. 

Werner’s runs trouble Southampton
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Even in the tightest of encounters, Chelsea can stretch the match with a single forward pass for Werner to chase.

With a top speed of 34.1km/hr, Werner is not only one of the quickest players for the Blues, he is also one of the most hardworking.

No team-mate averages more sprints per 90 minutes.

Who sprints most for Chelsea?
PlayerSprints per 90
Timo Werner22.9
Ben Chilwell22.8
Christian Pulisic19.4
Tammy Abraham19.1
Kai Havertz18.1

In a tactical sense it is easy to see why Tuchel has persisted with Werner despite his lack of goals.

His energetic style sets a positive tone. Whether it be a five-yard sprint inside the area or a run from deep, Werner’s movement has been effective.

Most penalties won 2020/21
Timo Werner (CHE)5
Anthony Martial (MUN)4
Jamie Vardy (LEI)3
Patrick Bamford (LEE)3

It is no coincidence that Werner has earned a competition-high five penalties this season, including one in Tuesday night’s huge 2-1 win over top-four rivals Leicester City.

Netting 78 Bundesliga times in four seasons at RB Leipzig, it is surely only a matter of time before Werner rediscovers his goalscoring touch.

Future Golden Boot contender?

Converting only five of 23 big chances will be a source of great frustration, but his ability to get into these excellent positions should be regarded as a plus.

His predatory penalty box instincts mean Chelsea can rely on him to pop up in positions to score more than any other player.

If his finishing improves next season, Werner could well emerge as a Golden Boot contender.

Werner chance comparison to team-mates
Big chancesBig chances missed

There is a lot to admire about Werner’s all-round game.

He has fired off more than double the number of shots inside the box than any of his team-mates, with 65.

Werner also ranks second behind Mason Mount as the team’s chief creator from open play.

He may not have been prolific in front of goal this season but if Chelsea do secure UEFA Champions League qualification then Werner’s contributions must not be overlooked.

Tomorrow: Can Leicester frustrate Kane in Golden Boot race?

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