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Thomas Tuchel makes Timo Werner promise as “closed” Chelsea striker sturggles with burden

Thomas Tuchel has admitted Timo Werner has “a weight on his shoulders” and that the German striker is not quite himself after his struggles at the start of his Chelsea career.

Werner has netted just once in his last 16 games, that came in the FA Cup win over Morecambe, and was an unused substitute in Tuchel’s first match in charge, the 0-0 draw with Wolves on Wednesday.

Both Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham have been preferred in recent matches to Werner, who hasn’t found the net in the Premier League since the 4-1 victory over Sheffield United on November 7.

He missed a penalty in the cup tie against Luton Town last weekend as well to sum up his current struggles in front of goal following his £47.5million switch from RB Leipzig in the summer.

Werner’s struggles, as well as compatriot Kai Havertz, arguably led to the downfall of Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager, who was sacked on Monday to be replaced by former PSG boss Tuchel 24 hours later.

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Tuchel was previously quizzed on whether his appointment was related to getting the best out of his fellow countrymen, Werner and Havertz, but the boss was also pushed specifically on Werner, who arrived at the club with a fearsome reputation as one of Europe’s most lethal strikers.

“At the moment, why I did not use him on Wednesday, I see his face is a bit closed and the weight is on his shoulders,” Tuchel said.

“He cares a lot and that shows he has a fantastic character. Sometimes as a striker it does not help if you care a lot. Sometimes as a striker it’s better to not care at all.

“But he’s not that guy. He cares and he’s not happy with himself and with the way things went lately.”

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