It took Timo Werner less than four minutes to score his first goal in a Chelsea shirt, when he finished off a loose ball from a miscued header from Callum Hudson-Odoi in the friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
But that was just a friendly of course. Chelsea and Brighton will do this again, for real this time, in 12 days when the 2020-21 Premier League season begins. One can only hope that Werner will repeat that trick on September 14 as well, and then keep repeating that trick over and over and over again as we progress into the season and look to better last season’s place finish.
Werner scored 34 goals in 45 games last season; if he can get anywhere near that amount this season, we might just be able to close the gap to the best teams in the league — the gap that we’ve been talking about closing for the last three years. Werner may be new, but he’s already picked up that messaging from the boss.
“The work with the manager recently has been really good. He’s been showing and explaining to the whole team, not just me, what we can do on the pitch and how to improve on last season.
“He’s been great to work with and he’s been discussing his plans for the future, and how we want to battle with teams like Man City and Liverpool. I think Chelsea is a big club and with this team that we have, I think we can reach a new level. We have some very good players here and the manager is there to show us the way, and help us improve. We’ve worked a lot on tactical things, as well as our strength and fitness, to make sure we are ready for the start of the season.”
Werner’s settling in well not just on but off the pitch as well, as he revealed in his interview with the Chelsea official website.
“[It’s been] very good. I know the way from my home to the training ground now, so that’s good! That’s important, knowing your way around your new surroundings and we have also trained at the stadium so now I know my way to Stamford Bridge also.
“My apartment is very nice, I feel happy there and also the city of London is brilliant. For me, London is one of the best cities in the world so I’m really happy. When you take a few days away, the weather was also very good! Yes, I’m very happy and settling in well.”
“It’s not been as hard as I expected though, everyone has helped me settle in. People have spoken very slowly so I can understand and right now I feel very happy. I can understand everything and communicate in English.
‘Having someone [like Rüdiger] who can speak German always helps, and also Kova can speak German too, so he’s helped me settle in. They have helped me around the training ground but also in explaining to me where is good to go for dinner, where is good to live, things like this.
“I didn’t know London very well, I’d only visited a few times, so it was really important to have two guys like this helping me settle in.”
-Timo Werner; source: Chelsea FC
Rüdiger’s certainly pulling his weight these days, acting as agent and tour guide for Werner, and Kai Havertz as well (assuming that all goes through shortly).
Hopefully we’ll see similar synergy on the pitch as well!