Chelsea appear to have struck a deal to bring RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner to London once the current campaign is concluded.
The German international is rumoured to have a release clause of £53m which the Blues are more than willing to pay considering he’s managed to score 31 goals in all club competitions this season while also registering 13 assists.
Werner looks set to be integral to Chelsea’s new dawn under Frank Lampard‘s leadership, but the 24-year-old’s signature could place one current player under threat.
Tammy Abraham had led the line at Stamford Bridge this season, with 15 goals and six assists to his name from 2,490 minutes in all competitions.
That means the English striker has posted a scoring contribution every 118.6 minutes. Werner, for perspective, boasts one every 74.3 minutes.
The Chelsea academy graduate is two years younger, but it’s clear to see why his position in Lampard’s team may be at risk.
However, the way in which Werner has been deployed by Julian Nagelsmann at Leipzig this season offers hope for Abraham, as he’s often been used behind Yussuf Poulsen.
Werner is lightning quick and for that reason, he would be used in most systems as a threat in behind by positioning himself on the shoulder of opposing defenders.
He’s quick enough to reach through passes ahead of opponents, which is why he’s suited to presenting a similar danger to Jamie Vardy, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Poulsen is also reasonably fast, though, while being notably more physical than Werner, standing 6ft 4ins. That has permitted the German international to operate as a no.10 or second striker on occasion, behind Poulsen or Patrik Schick, as shown below.
Crucially, Poulsen is vaguely comparable to Abraham. The Englishman is also tall while being quick across the ground for his size, meaning that Lampard could steal an idea from Nagelsmann’s playbook by deploying the two at the same time.
In addition, Abraham is very much a penalty box poacher. This season, he’s averaging just 8.8 touches before taking a shot which is more often than any other player with the exception of Sergio Aguero, based on those with a minimum total of 500 touches.
For context, receiving a pass, then dribbling, then sending a pass counts as one touch.
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Werner, coincidentally, has proved to be one of the best at finding the penalty area with passes. Of those with a minimum of 1,000 minutes played in the Bundesliga this season, he ranks 14th for passes in the penalty box per 90, with six of the players ahead of him being contracted to Bayern Munich.
Ultimately, rather than being in direct competition for one position, the two can almost certainly thrive as a duo. Lampard looks set to have a wealth of attacking options at his disposal next season, and it’s likely that both Werner and Abraham will be highly involved instead of one triumphing over the other.