Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole feels Timo Werner might make the difference in Chelsea’s Champions League final victory against Manchester City on Saturday.
The £45m summer signing has struggled to adjust to life in England since joining from RB Leipzig, with only six goals in 35 Premier League games indicating the Blues were wise to pay such a hefty fee.
This weekend, Thomas Tuchel’s side will meet City in the Champions League final, and despite Werner’s poor Chelsea career so far, Cole feels the Germany international might play a significant role in determining whether club is crowned European champions.
“Timo Werner is all wrong for the way Pep plays, no system is impenetrable,” BT Sport expert Cole said to 90min. “Pep plays a specific manner, and if you have a guy as explosive and as clever as Timo making runs, you’re going to find some space at some point in the game. He is the player who will do them harm.”
Despite entering the match as underdogs, Cole feels Chelsea’s two victories against City this season – one in the Premier League and another in the FA Cup semi-final – show they have nothing to fear and are under no pressure given their performance to reach the final.
“It’s almost a bonus,” he said. “I’m not sure even the club expected to reach this stage so quickly, but you’re here, you’re at the pinnacle of European football, and you’re playing a team you’ve already beaten this season, so that takes the fear factor out of it.” I really believe that this is a free kick for this squad.”
Chelsea began their Champions League campaign this season under the management of Frank Lampard, who was relieved of his duties in January.
When Cole was asked whether his old teammate deserved any credit if Chelsea win the European Cup, he avoided a firm response, albeit he hinted that he believes he does.
“It really will be a collective effort, Chelsea are a club well equipped for players and managers coming and going and so many people will have done a great job if Chelsea get this one over the line,” he added.
Cole continued by stating that Chelsea should pursue Inter’s Romelu Lukaku aggressively after reports linking the Blues with a move for their former striker, claiming the Blues want more alternatives if they are to fight for the Premier League championship next season.
“Yes,” he said, “they require Lukaku.” “Werner is a quality player and I believe he will be a key player tomorrow, but I believe that if Lukaku is available at a reasonable price, Chelsea will take him because he is one of the best strikers in the world.”
“Every team will strengthen this year that’s for sure and you need options to win titles.”