Chelsea aren’t wasting any time when it comes to summer transfers. The signing of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig is a clear indication of Frank Lampard’s intentions for next season. One of the interesting things about Chelsea and their pursuit of another attacker illustrates the manager’s lack of faith in his current striking options. However, of all the players they have looked at closely, with the likes of Dries Mertens, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and obviously Timo Werner. They are all converted wingers and the sole purpose of Werner coming to the club is that Chelsea wanted a player who can play up front and challenge Tammy Abraham, but also play potentially with the 22-year-old.
Abraham has performed excellently in his first full campaign at his boyhood club, scoring 15 times in 34 outings across all competitions. With the signing of Werner, it does give Lampard some interesting tactical options where he can slot him into some of the systems that he usually uses. On the left of a 4-2-3-1 formation, or in a 4-3-3 attacking system. Signing the 24-year-old from RB Leipzig does give Lampard the option to change it up a bit with formations that we haven’t seen at Chelsea yet, possibly a two-man striker formation to complement both players.
Already confirming Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, which will add creativity to Chelsea’s front line at Stamford Bridge next season. We give an in depth look at how Lampard will utilise his attacking options to accompany the signing of Werner.
4-4-2 diamond, two man striker partnership
Werner rarely plays directly up top in a striker pairing, but, Lampard may go for a different approach with Werner and Abraham playing alongside each other. A 4-4-2 diamond formation will allow Werner to play centrally and drift out wide to give Chelsea width in which will expose opposition defences. Also, this will give new signing Ziyech a lot more freedom to show off his creative exploits. For Ajax, he often drifts to the right wing position which enables the Moroccan international to deliver expert crosses into the box.
This system will reinvent Chelsea in the attacking phase as having both Werner and Abraham – with Ziyech playing in behind, goals will come in abundance. However, Lampard will have to get the balance right with the players he selects to play in a midfield diamond.
4-3-3, inverted forward off the left
This is the formation I think Lampard will use throughout next season. I believe the 4-3-3 system gives his side more options going forward and gets the best results on how he wants his team to play. With the line-up, Werner will feature from the left hand side with Abraham the lone front man. At RB Leipzig this season, the German striker is often deployed as part of a mobile front two, usually alongside a physical imposing forward in either Yussuf Poulsen or Patrik Schick.
At times Werner will play as the lone striker over Abraham to try and change it up a little in games that are stretched. But, I think we will often see the German striker being used in a 4-3-3 formation alongside Abraham, similar to how he is used for RB Leipzig as a second striker. Werner’s pace, energy and clinical finishing brings back memories of former Chelsea striker Nicholas Anelka. During his Chelsea career he formed a brilliant partnership with Didier Drogba as they played to each other’s strengths. Hopefully this can be resurrected next season with the pairing of Abraham and Werner.
4-2-3-1, Rotation as the lone-striker
A formation that Lampard has used many times this season. Mason Mount has been the player playing behind Abraham in this 4-2-3-1 formation because of his ability to press the opposition throughout the 90 minutes. However, only one of Abraham or Werner will play directly through the middle and Lampard will chop and change throughout the season, if this formation is used.
Werner is best from the left-hand side, but in a team full of attacking young players, he will thrive in Lampard’s system because Chelsea have many attacking young players who will have license to roam across the front line. Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi will have to show the manager that they belong in the XI when the season resumes for Chelsea on Sunday.
Werner and Abraham in attack is a devastating combination, even with Ziyech supplying them from midfield. Lampard will know all three are different types of player. For the 2020/21 season, Chelsea will be hoping they can challenge the likes of Manchester City and runaway leaders Liverpool. With the addition of Werner, Lampard will utilise the German at his best and that is coming off the left flank in a 4-3-3 formation. This will allow Werner to play off Abraham as well as applying much needed pressure on the England striker, which he hasn’t had this season.
Most Chelsea fans will welcome Werner to the club knowing that he is a proven goal scorer and has been that for some years now. At 24, he has many years at the top and hopefully he can bring his attacking instinct to Frank Lampard’s side come next season.