Alan Shearer explained on Match of the Day 2 the key component that Chelsea need to obtain if they are to challenge for the Premier League.
After analysing the Blues 2-1 victory over Sheffield United, the divisions all-time record scorer discussed what Thomas Tuchel had changed since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
“He’s given everyone an opportunity,” he said. “He didn’t play (Mason) Mount in the first game. He’s swapped (Ben Chilwell and (Marcus) Alonso. (Olivier) Giroud has been in there. Changed the system slightly. He’s given everyone the opportunity to impress.”
Shearer continued by suggesting what Chelsea needed to take them over the line as potential title contenders.
“I think they’re still lacking a top centre forward to challenge. They’ll challenge for fourth but to go to the next level, I believe they’ll need a top-quality centre-forward.”
Many might argue that Timo Werner was brought in for this exact purpose.
Chelsea extracted him from RB Leipzig last June for £45m (Sky Sports) following a stellar scoring season in the Bundesliga.
Werner netted 28 goals in 34 German top flight appearances, alongside his four in eight Champions League matches.
This fine form has yet to been replicated by the 24-year-old in England. Werner failed to score for the 14th consecutive league game after hitting a blank against Sheffield United.
He is still joint second with Giroud in Chelsea’s goalscoring charts, both on nine, just two behind Tammy Abraham.
Considering the England striker has only started six games since the end of November, these figures don’t reflect too kindly on Chelsea’s forward line.
Sky Sports did report that the Blues were interested in signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, which would certainly fit the profile of player Shearer was pointing towards.
Tuchel will be hoping he can soon get his attackers firing again as they remount their assault on the top four.
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It’s true Chelsea have not been able to fully rely on their forwards to outgun opponents.
Luckily, they’ve had contributions from all over the pitch so I wouldn’t see it as a huge worry just yet.
The troubling factor is how long will Werner’s drought go on? Chelsea needs to see some results even if he is working tirelessly for the team.