Timo Werner’s astonishingly poor record in front of goal this season has been laid bare in the wake of his latest horror miss against Real Madrid.
The Germany star arrived at Stamford Bridge to great fanfare last summer, having established a reputation as one of Europe’s hottest strikers at RB Leipzig.
But his £53million move to west London, which was seen as a coup for the Blues amid interest from Premier League champions Liverpool, is yet to fully pay off.
Timo Werner missed a brilliant chance to give Chelsea the lead against Real Madrid on Tuesday
The German’s miss was the 23rd big chance he has failed to convert in all competitions
While Werner has managed to score 11 goals in all competitions, it is the amount of gilt-edged chances he has missed which has really caught the eye this season.
Christian Pulisic put one on a plate for him in Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Real, nodding the ball across goal to give Werner a simple finish from just six yards out.
But his side-footed strike lacked power, conviction and direction, allowing ex-Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois to make a relatively comfortable save to keep the score at 0-0.
It was far from the first time we’ve seen Werner fail to take the sort of chance that he used to gobble up for fun in the Bundesliga, however.
Werner, pictured in action against Real, has failed to live up to his £53m price-tag at Chelsea
In fact, no Premier League player has missed more big chances (as categorised by Opta) in all competitions than Werner so far this season.
The 25-year-old has failed to convert 23 excellent opportunities since signing for the Blues, with his miss against Madrid taking him one ahead of Liverpool’s Mo Salah.
The Egyptian’s presence so high on the list might be a surprise, but it should be noted that he has scored a whopping 29 goals this term – 18 more than Werner.
Tottenham captain Harry Kane and Leeds striker Patrick Bamford are joint third on the list with 21 big chances missed apiece, but again their goal records stand up favourably when compared to the German.
Kane has 31 goals for Spurs – almost three times Werner’s total – while Bamford has struck 14 times in the Premier League for a side who were only promoted last year.
Werner misses a clear one-on-one with Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola back in January
Liverpool’s Mo Salah has missed 22 big chances this season – but he’s also scored 29 goals
MOST BIG CHANCES MISSED BY PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS
- Timo Werner – 23
- Mohamed Salah – 22
- Harry Kane and Patrick Bamford – 21
- Jamie Vardy and Sadio Mane – 20
Two other big names, Jamie Vardy and Sadio Mane, are joint fourth when it comes to misses, having squandered 20 clear opportunities each over the last eight months.
However, the Leicester talisman has 15 goals in far fewer appearances than Werner and Mane, despite enduring a hugely disappointing season, has still found the back of the net more than the Chelsea forward this season.
Werner ended his 15-game wait for a goal for club or country against West Ham last Saturday, earning his side an important 1-0 victory in the race for the top four.
But it was the same old story in the second half at the London Stadium, with the former Leipzig hitman missing a one-on-one to put the game to bed.
Former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle was critical of Werner’s latest miss in Madrid, which could yet prove costly as Thomas Tuchel’s bid to reach the Champions League final.
Hoddle accused the German of a ‘timid’ finish at Real’s Valdebebas training ground and suggested he may be lacking confidence, despite ending his goal drought just a few days earlier.
‘He has got to score,’ Hoddle said on co-commentary for BT Sport.
Glenn Hoddle said Werner’s miss against Real Madrid summed up his Chelsea career so far
The ex-RB Leipzig forward battles to keep the ball in play during the Champions League semi
‘Werner has got to score. He is a little bit hesitant. That is not really drilling it into the net and taking everything with it. He is a bit timid in the way he has tried to finish that. He has given the keeper a chance to save it, yet again with his feet.’
Tuchel also admitted that his striker had ‘missed a big one’ against Zinedine Zidane’s side, having watched Karim Benzema cancel out Christian Pulisic’s in the 1-1 draw.
The Blues boss bemoaned his team’s wastefulness in front of goal but ordered the German to move on quickly from his latest bad miss.
‘He missed a big one in West Ham now he missed another big one here,’ Tuchel said.
‘That does not help, but it also does not help to cry about it or to regret it all the time.
Werner’s ‘timid’ finish was in stark contrast to Karim Benzema’s superb equaliser on Tuesday
‘It is like this. There are millions of people who have harder things to deal with than chances that you miss, so this is the good thing about sports – nobody cares tomorrow.
‘Today we were sad, we were angry in the moment, this is normal. He is angry. He is maybe disappointed.
‘Tomorrow he has a free day and the next day he has to put his chin up. He is a professional guy, a top guy, he works hard.
‘He is in positions and from there, on we go. We will never stop pushing, we will never stop believing and I have the feeling that everybody accepts the situation like it is and as a striker it is easy, you score the next game and nobody speaks about it.’
WERNER’S WORST MISSES
5. Real Madrid vs Chelsea, April 27, 2021
Not only a bad miss, but potentially costly when it comes to Chelsea’s hopes of making it all the way to next month’s Champions League final.
All Werner had to do was put his foot through Pulisic’s headed pass and keep his shot down, but his attempt suggested a lack of confidence and couldn’t have been more different to Benzema’s thunderous finish at the other end.
Werner had an excellent chance to score against Real but shot straight at Thibaut Courtois
4. West Ham vs Chelsea, April 24, 2021
Despite scoring the winner against West Ham last Saturday, Werner was also guilty of missing a brilliant chance to wrap the game up early in the second half.
Having watched Lukasz Fabianski palm out Mason Mount’s shot from distance, the German pounced on the loose ball but managed to direct his own strike wide of the post when it looked easier to score.
Werner pounced on a loose ball against West Ham but managed to send his low shot wide
3. Newcastle vs Chelsea, November 21, 2020
Werner did well to combine with Tammy Abraham inside the box at St James’ Park and create space for himself to get a clear sight at goal.
But his finish lacked the quality of the division’s best strikers as he dragged his right-footed strike from just 12 yards wide of the goal, not even testing the goalkeeper.
2. Rennes vs Chelsea, November 24, 2020
The sort of chance that strikers love. A perfect, low cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi from the right found Werner unmarked on the edge of the six yard box.
But instead of drilling the ball into the bottom corner, he got underneath it and skied it well over the bar and into row Z.
1. Chelsea vs Leeds United, December 5, 2020
Werner missed two big chances in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Leeds in December, but how he managed to clear the ball off the opponents’ goal-line is anyone’s guess.
The German only needed to tap home Olivier Giroud’s goal-bound flick from less than a yard out, but somehow got the angle of his foot wrong to stop it going in, before seeing his follow up attempt pushed onto the bar and to safety.
Werner failed to score from this position against Leeds, despite being just a yard from goal