Darren Bent suggested Timo Werner had all the right traits to remain a regular for Chelsea this season.
Speaking on Premier League Productions, Bent wanted to remind everyone of the German’s skill set that can often be drowned out by criticism.
Werner has been forced to grow a thick skin since his move to Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig for £45m (Sky Sports) last summer.
Barren stretches without scoring, glaringly open chances wasted, 16 goals chalked off by VAR; all have contributed to the negative comments aimed at the 25-year-old.
But the centre-forward sometimes likes to remind his cynics why the Blues bought him the first place.
A tidy finish against Southampton on the weekend took Werner’s tally up to two for the term.
Admittedly, this is nothing to shout and scream about.
But in the context of the Chelsea squad, this is an achievement.
He is only the third player in Thomas Tuchel’s squad to have scored more than once this year, along with Trevoh Chalobah and Romelu Lukaku.
His importance is there for all to see, even if the lines are sometimes pretty blurred.
Bent backing Timo
“He’s one of those players Timo Werner because his movement is so good in terms of running in behind, in and around the box, you have to play him,” admitted Bent.
“He’s always getting in there. His finishing could be better; he’s a little bit erratic in front of goal.
“When you’ve got someone who gets that many chances, you have to keep playing him because he’s clearly doing something right in terms of off the ball.
“That’s why Thomas Tuchel sticks with him. Maybe he’s not the most prolific, but he just keeps going and going and going.”
Werner’s work rate
Persistence is certainly working in Werner’s favour.
Perhaps not in terms of increasing his goals tally, but definitely to remain in Tuchel’s good books.
His willingness to stretch defences for the good of the team is a valuable asset that cannot be underestimated.
And had VAR not intervened on so many occasions, we might possibly be looking at a player with 30 goals in 60 appearances for Chelsea.
Which is a record the fiercest strikers in Europe would be proud of.