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05-Jun-2020, 07:13 pm

Werner to Chelsea: Lampard takes a leaf out of Liverpool's book to sign right player at right time


Frank Lampard Timo Werner Jurgen Klopp Chelsea Liverpool GFX

Ralf Rangnick always knew Timo Werner was leaving RB Leipzig this summer. The former coach is now head of sport and development at Red Bull, overseeing each of their clubs' transfer dealings.

Werner was keen to leave last summer but Rangnick and Leipzig convinced him to stay to help with their Champions League challenge by inserting a realistic release clause within a new contract.

The extension proved mutually beneficial, with Leipzig on course for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga thanks to the most prolific season of Werner's career to date.

Rangnick was initially hopeful that Leipzig could hold on to their prized possession for next season but, by May, that was resigned to offering Werner advice on where he should go next, revealing that he hoped that the 24-year-old would join a counter-attacking side.

"I think he would do better in the hands of a club that is not necessarily defined by possession football," Rangnicktold BILD .

"Timo has made great progress under (Leipzig coach) Julian Nagelsmann and his most important weapons are the quick movement and powerful finishing.

"Therefore, he would better fit a club like Liverpool, which has a similar style of play to ours."

However, as Liverpool decided not to sign Werner for financial reasons , Chelsea swooped in for a player they had targeted in January along with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

Frank Lampard is building his Chelsea side to play in the sort of style Rangnick wants to see, one trying to make the most of the pace and trickery of youngsters Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi out wide.

The imminent arrival of Hakim Ziyech, meanwhile, will add another dimension to the attack next season.

The Blues boss feels that Liverpool's work in the transfer market has been key to the Reds' recent success and, therefore, wants Chelsea to embrace their rivals' approach.

“As part of their journey, they have signed the right players at the right times; ones that feel pivotal," Lampard told reporters.

"Virgil van Dijk, Alisson – they have a great knack of signing players that suit the way they want to play and help them keep moving forward.

“It’s a great model in those terms but I don’t want to look anywhere near like I’m comparing us now.

"I’m under no illusions about that but what I do understand is that behind their story can be attributed to the hard work that they have been prepared to do.”

Werner should prove one of those game-changing signings for Lampard, who saw his side struggle badly to break down Bayern Munich in this season's Champions League last-16 clash at Stamford Bridge, where, in the absence of Pulisic, Chelsea lacked a fast player capable of exploiting exploit the space the visitors left in behind their backline they attacked.

Chelsea looked impotent in that resounding 3-0 defeat, even after replacing Olivier Giroud with Tammy Abraham for the final 30 minutes.

Tellingly, Abraham is the only Blues player to score more than 10 goals this season yet only one of his 15 goals in all competitions has come in 2020.

Lampard has been aware for some time, though, that he has an issue to address up front. In February, for example, he was clearly frustrated by the fact that it was left to full-back Marcos Alonso to earn his side a draw at Bournemouth.

"The character of the team was great but we need more goals," the former midfielder admitted.

"Marcos Alonso has had a big week but I don't want my left-back top of the scoring charts. I want our attackers scoring goals and they haven't been."

GFX Timo Werner Chelsea

With 31 goals in 40 appearances this season for RB Leipzig, Werner can provide the cutting edge that Chelsea are so evidently missing.

Indeed, there's no reason to think that the Germany international won't thrive in England.

Four of this season's goals have come in the Champions League, including one against Tottenham, while has repeatedly proven himself against top opposition, even scoring twice away at Borussia Dortmund in December.

His international record is also impressive, too, with 11 goals in 27 games, and he was awarded the Golden Boot at the 2017 Confederations Cup after netting three times and racking up two assists in Russia.

This season, Werner has improved his game significantly under Nagelsmann,who heavily praised his forward after he netted his third hat-trick of the season last month.

"Timo now has a good sense not only of letting himself attack on the wing, but also of going into the No.10 position," the Leipzig boss told reporters.

"Coupled with his speed, this makes him more varied in his play and more difficult for his opponents to get to grips with him."

Chelsea have lacked this sort of complete forward in recent years, trying and failing with multiple options, including Gonzalo Higuain and Alvaro Morata.

Giroud has proven a decent option and recently had his contract extended for this very reason. However, the Frenchman will turn 34 in September and does not fit the age profile of the youthful side Lampard is building.

Abraham, meanwhile, has proven that he can cut it in the Premier League and is developing all the time, but Werner is a cut above the Englishman right now because of his versatility, speed and ruthlessness in front of goal.

This is the right move at the right time, for both Werner and Chelsea.


Source : goal.com

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