Timo Werner is welcoming the imminent arrival of Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea, claiming he can improve as a result of having the Belgium star next to him.
Chelsea have been looking for a new centre-forward all summer after Werner disappointed in his debut season. Lukaku is on the verge of returning to the club to fulfil their requirements in front of goal. He has enjoyed a successful two-year spell with Inter Milan, but is now ready to return to the Premier League.
Lukaku was still a young player in his first spell at Chelsea, so never got too much of a chance. Now, though, he is the finished product and has fully earned his second chance at Stamford Bridge.
In theory, that should cause concern for Werner, whose chances will be further reduced following the addition of Lukaku to the squad. But rather than a hindrance, the Germany international sees the impending transfer as something that can help revive his Blues career.
“He’s probably one of the best three strikers in the world at the moment, no question,” Werner told Sky Sports.
“I don’t think we need to say too much about him. He’s a world-class striker who would benefit any team.
“I certainly think at Leipzig it always helped me having a big striker alongside me.
“I think that’s always good because I’m not the biggest and when you play on your own up front you obviously always have the attention of one or two brawny defenders.
“It’s a good new weapon to have in our game that if you play a long ball, he’ll hold it up and then the fast players around him can set off. I think that’s good for any team.”
Werner scored 12 goals from 52 appearances for Chelsea last season, while Lukaku bagged 30 from 44 for Inter.
The former Everton and Manchester United man should give them more guarantees than last summer’s signing. However, Werner clearly believes he can still find his role in Thomas Tuchel’s system.
Havertz hopes Werner keeps starting spot
Someone else who thinks Werner can still make a name for himself is compatriot Kai Havertz, who also moved to Chelsea last summer.
The attacking midfielder sometimes covered for Werner in a false-nine role last season, even scoring the winning goal in the Champions League final. But he has been keen to ensure that Werner’s contributions have not gone unnoticed.
Indeed, Havertz recently told The Athletic why he hopes his countryman keeps his place.
“After last season you have to say he’s a better assist-maker than everyone else in the team,” said Havertz.
“He changed his style of play and made more assists than goals, but he has every ability.
“In the Champions League final, for example, he did the run to the left which opened the space for me (to score). He can do everything, and that’s a reason why he’s so unpredictable.”