If Chelsea signed Timo Werner this summer to be their first-choice centre-forward, with an emphasis on the first word of that couplet, the German proved exactly why against Southampton.
After inconsistent performances off the left flank, which came largely because Frank Lampard has yet to find the right system for all his new additions, Werner was restored to the central role that many expected him to occupy when he joined from RB Leipzig.
And it did not take long for the German international, who struck 28 Bundesliga goals last season, the second-highest figure in the division behind Robert Lewandowski, to illustrate precisely why so many wanted to see him lead the Chelsea attack.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in8Cancel
Tammy Abraham was dropped from the starting XI, while Christian Pulisic was deployed on the right, Kai Havertz in the support role behind Werner, and Mason Mount shifted out to the left on this occasion.
This interchangeable trio proved the ideal foil for Werner, who demonstrated the same dynamism, speed and intelligence that was evident in the Bundesliga.
Werner found the back of the net on three occasions in the first half. One of the goals was chalked off for offside, but each showcased his anticipation, skill, and, ultimately, natural goalscoring ability.
In the 14th minute, Ben Chilwell received the ball on the left flank, and Werner shifted to his right, pointing to receive a dinked cross in behind the Southampton backline.
Chilwell produced an inch-perfect ball and Werner nodded home only to see that he moved marginally too soon.
While the goal was disallowed, it showcased the qualities that Werner possesses. Vision, movement, a clinical finish, and looking to receive the ball in dangerous areas.
It required only another minute for Werner to break the deadlock, however. Again linking up with…