Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has blasted Chelsea’s treatment of Timo Werner, claiming Frank Lampard is wasting the talents of ‘one of the best strikers in Europe’.
The Germany international has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded his £45m move to Stamford Bride in the summer. Having notched 34 goals in 45 games for RB Leipzig last season, the 24-year-old has mustered just four Premier League goals in 18 appearances for Chelsea.
Blues boss Lampard has come in for much criticism over his treatment of Werner – with the frontman regularly starting out on the left-hand side of a front three – and Hasenhuttl has no doubts whatsoever that the shift in positions is to blame for Werner’s underwhelming performances.
“You really need to bring him into his best position so he can bring his strength on the pitch,” he said as reported by Goal. “For me, he is one of the best strikers in Europe.
“I know Timo very well and I have seen him in situations where he was not good. Most of the time when I have seen this is because of the reason that the game doesn’t fit to him. The team didn’t play in a way where he can bring his best on the pitch, I think.
“He is definitely a player where you have to adapt your game to him. If you do this, he will give you everything you need from a striker. But, therefore, he has some qualities you really have to focus on.”
Hasenhuttl has first-hand experience of the qualities Werner possesses having worked with the German for two-and-a-half years during his time in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig,
The Saints boss believes the Chelsea man thrived under his stewardship – and later Julien Nagelsmann’s – because they played to his strengths, something which is key to bringing the best out of Chelsea’s misfiring forward.
“The good thing for him, I think at Leipzig when I was there, is we concentrated completely on his qualities. Our quick transitions after winning the ball, it was perfect for our game. Also, when he was with Julian [Nagelsmann], he was also scoring a lot of goals.”