Chelsea boss Frank Lampard splashed the cash in the summer in a bid to mount a challenge for the Premier League title this season. But the Blues have endured a tricky start to the campaign.
Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has encouraged manager Frank Lampard to play Timo Werner as a central striker, but doesn’t believe this will be enough to secure the Premier League title.
The 24-year-old attacker joined the West London club in the summer after a stellar campaign with Leipzig, during which he scored 28 goals from just 34 appearances in the Bundesliga.
He has been deployed both as a striker and a left winger so far this season, but Hasselbaink believes he is vastly more effective at the tip of Chelsea’s attacking trident than he is out wide.
“Yes, he is very sharp,” the former Queens Park Rangers manager told Sky Sports.
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“He just turns the defender so easy and there is only one thing on his mind and that’s to get the shot off.
“He is not somebody who likes to play with his back to goal. He likes to see the goal and make his run always on the shoulder of the centre-halves.
“He just knows where the back of the net is. I like him when he plays through the middle but not when he plays on the left.
“He does drift and then come back but yeah, a top striker. His runs are limited because he can only come from the left and cut back into the right-sided centre-half, he is more restricted and he likes to be free.
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“He likes to take his time and get the ball down. He is never with his back to goal. I didn’t like to do it, I wasn’t good enough like a (Johan) Cruyff or (Marco) van Basten or whatever.
“He is, in a way, the same. He knows his strength and he wants to make runs at the centre-half.
“For me, what I have seen of him, also in Germany, he is the real deal and he doesn’t care how they go in, he just wants goals.”
Chelsea have made a lukewarm start to their Premier League season, having gained eight points from their first five outings.
Despite averaging 2.6 goals scored per game, their defensive fragility has let them down with five of their nine goals conceded coming as a result of individual player errors.
Lampard’s side have shipped an alarming 63 goals in 43 matches since he was appointed manager last year, including nine in five Premier League fixtures this term, three of those in Saturday’s draw with Southampton.
It is this major weakness that means they will not be competing with Liverpool and Manchester City for the league title, according to Hasselbaink.
“The defence is a worry, if they cannot improve the centre-backs and goalkeeper it is a concern,” he continued.
“Alisson wins Liverpool points, but that doesn’t happen with Kepa. Chelsea need to improve in that area.”
Chelsea begin their UEFA Champions League campaign on Thursday evening as they welcome Europa League winners Sevilla to Stamford Bridge.
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