Timo Werner has admitted he lost the ‘fun’ side of football at Chelsea – perhaps due to the tactics used by Thomas Tuchel.
Werner recently left Chelsea to return to RB Leipzig. It brought an end to a disappointing two-year spell in the Premier League. From 56 appearances in the competition, he only managed 10 goals.
In contrast, during his first spell with RB Leipzig, he scored 78 times from 127 Bundesliga games. Hence, he was a shadow of the player he can be during his Chelsea days.
Things are already looking up again for the Germany international back in his native country. He scored on his second debut for RB Leipzig in a 2-2 draw with FC Koln in August 13.
Werner, who has a good record for his country as well, will be hoping his Chelsea struggles are firmly in the past.
But questions will linger about what went wrong for a player for whom so much was expected in English football.
The striker has now hinted at some of the answers himself. According to Werner, a lack of regular gametime and the unsuitability of Tuchel’s system were his downfall.
“For me, the fun of playing football is in the foreground,” he told the Einfach mal Luppen podcast.
“Of course, I had great success at Chelsea, but the fun got a bit lost in the end because I didn’t play regularly any more.
“I think the coach’s system of play didn’t suit me perfectly. That’s why it was clear to me that I wanted to take a new step. I’m at an age where I want to play as much as I can.
“I really associate very great successes with Chelsea – the greatest of my career. It will always be a special club for me. I will also stay in touch with many of the players from the team.”
Timo Werner the latest striker to struggle at Chelsea
Werner won the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup during his time with Chelsea. He was also a runner-up in the FA Cup twice and EFL Cup once.
Hence, on a team basis, his time with Chelsea was more successful than any other previous venture in his career. But he will be keen to enjoy his individual form as he enters his prime years.
Therefore, the return to RB Leipzig seems to have been a sensible decision for Werner.
At Chelsea, the question will linger of why several successful forwards have struggled at Stamford Bridge. Romelu Lukaku encountered a similar problem and returned to Inter Milan this summer, where he too scored on his second debut.
The next forwards Chelsea seek to bring in – such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, someone whom Tuchel has worked with before – will hope to endure better fortunes.