The international break is not only an unwelcome interruption (most of the time) as far as the football’s concerned, it also leaves a big void in the daily churn of news and speculation that needs to be filled. And thus we get rumors like Chelsea using Timo Werner as make-weight in a deal for Erling Braut Haaland.
Even if swap deals and (part-)player-exchange deals were as common as Football Manager would have us believe, the deal seems like a logistical nightmare with both players’ long-term contracts, Werner’s wages, and Haaland’s valuation and release clause. Sure, if anyone can pull off something this spectacular, it’s Marina Granovskaia, but in the real world, such things simply don’t happen.
And that common sense stance has been reinforced by recent reports from the likes of Matt Law in the Telegraph and Nizaar Kinsella at Goal, who claim that neither Chelsea nor Werner are pushing to end our relationship after just one season. Chelsea ‘not planning to sell’ Werner, writes the former, and Werner ‘won’t push for an exit’ adds the latter.
Werner may have not as yet replicated his goal-scoring numbers from the Bundesliga — though we’ve certainly seen worse than 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions from a striker at the Bridge — but he’s been a key and influential player all season. In fact, only Mason Mount and Édouard Mendy have played more minutes than the 25-year-old.
And you get the feeling he’s only just going to get better as he settles in and we start playing to his strengths more often.