The time is 7.20 pm and Arsenal have just beaten us 2-1 to win the FA cup for the 14th time and yet on social media there was one prominent image circling and being ‘memed’ all around. During the game the cameras cut to Timo Werner seemingly texting on his phone, something so innocent yet even sparked a little tweet from his former club RB Leipzig, playing up to the idea he already wanted to return. If there was ever evidence to see just how much pressure was on Werner to hit the ground running, well, this was it. For now, the bigger question is who exactly misses out next season?
Your instincts naturally point you into the direction of two men, Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham. Both men have seemed to alternate between each other in who is scoring the goals for us this season. Abraham started the season slow with questions being asked after his missed penalty in the super cup final. However, after scoring against Norwich City in the third game of the season, he pushed on until injury hit against Valencia and Arsenal with everything slowing down for the rest of the season.
Despite Abraham’s injury, Giroud was still unable to force his way into the Chelsea XI and didn’t break his Premier league duck for this season until February in our 2-1 win over Tottenham. But, his form since the league restarted has been nothing short of exceptional, scoring seven goals in eight starts and yet you feel all this will mean very little with Werner expected to take the starting spot up top next season. Looking at all competitions, Abraham has managed 17 goals this season with Giroud getting ten himself, yet Werner blows them both out the water with 34 goals showing exactly why Mr Abramovich forked out £54 million for the striker.
If Frank does decide to play a curve ball and surprise everyone, could we ask that instead of someone missing out for Werner, he is instead filling a hole of a certain Brazilian winger. As everyday goes past it seems more and more likely that Willian won’t be resigning with us and will venture on to new pastures – Arsenal bound it seems. This may lead to a potential front three of Christian Pulisic, Giroud/Abraham and Werner on the right playing almost as an inside forward. Manchester City and Liverpool have both shown that inside forwards are the new strikers and you just have to look at the fortunes of Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah etc to see that if you get the right talent and the tactics spot on, you can have large amounts of success for both the team and the individual. Can you imagine the sight of Hakim Ziyech and potentially Kai Havertz playing balls down the wing for Pulisic and Werner to run on to so they can terrorise full backs and centre backs across the country.
Although the idea of the former Leipzig player playing on the right is very tantalising, Werner himself will want to play through the middle as he did many times for his previous club. Frank Lampard has alternated between 4-3-3 and a 3-4-3 this season, it seems both current forwards will have to get used to being second fiddle behind the German. I’m sure in games where we will feel confident of a win and want to put on a show, Frank will play around with the idea, but you don’t pay such big money for a player and not accommodate to his strengths.
In Werner we have a young striker who has scored goals for fun all his career and if he can bring that to us, we will be getting a player who has the potential to become a legend at the club. With his pace and our attacking talent already at the club, it will hopefully become a match made in heaven.