Timo Werner destined for a season on sidelines and a Chelsea exit unless he can hit it off with Romelu Lukaku

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 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images,)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images,)

Timo Werner went from leading the line in Chelsea’s biggest game of the season to an unused substitute when they were in desperate need of a goal in Turin.

No one can be more confused about his situation than the German, himself, who is being monitored by Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in a make-or-break season at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel’s decision to ignore Werner in the 1-0 defeat to Juventus on Wednesday has sparked fresh questions over his future. Yet the Chelsea manager’s willingness to put faith in him against Manchester City last week suggested he has not yet given up on the £45million striker rediscovering his scoring touch.

But something has got to happen soon for Werner, who has endured such a wretched run in front goal that now stretches back almost a year.

Since his 80th-minute strike against Sheffield United last November, he has scored just five goals in a Chelsea shirt.

That is over a period of 47 games.

With those sort of statistics Tuchel may well have been justified in snubbing him in favour of five other second half substitutes at Juve.

Even his one goal this season – against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup – was quickly followed by the squandering of a chance to double his tally.

Werner is understandably low on confidence and getting few chances to play his way back into form after starting just three games this season – and only one with Lukaku.

And he would be within his rights to point out the records of his fellow forwards this term.

Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic have one goal each, while Mason Mount is yet to open his account.

Werner was signed on the back of his prolific finishing for RB Leipzig - where he scored 78 goals in 127 Bundesliga games – and is a different profile to Tuchel’s other options up front. But they are all competing for the same role – playing off Lukaku.

Werner’s chances of regular game-time are directly linked to Chelsea’s £97.5m record signing. If they cannot hit it off then the Germany international is destined for a season on the sidelines and a likely departure next summer.

In that respect, he did himself few favours against City when his failure to link up with Lukaku left Tuchel so frustrated as Chelsea limply slipped to their first defeat of the season.

He was no worse than Lukaku on the day – but there was never any doubt about who would make way when a reshuffle was made against Juve.

Tuchel’s failure to find the right balance in attack to best exploit Lukaku has been particularly highlighted in the back-to-back defeats that have yielded just one shot on target over two games.

The Belgium international has started in four different forward combinations already this season. If not for injury and illness to Christian Pulisic, it would surely have been more.

Werner has not been helped by Tuchel’s increasing tendency to second guess himself.

For the first time in his Chelsea reign, the German does not seem to know what his best team is.

His uncertainty about his attack is echoed in midfield where deadline day signing Saul Niguez has been usurped by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and even Ross Barkley in the pecking order.

Jorginho, meanwhile, appears to be showing the strain of being a near-ever-present this season, with leggy performances in recent weeks.

But Saturday’s visit of Southampton begins a run of more favourable fixtures after such a daunting start to the campaign that saw Chelsea faced Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and City.

So Tuchel may welcome the opportunity to more effectively utilise his squad over a period of six games without coming up against any of the traditional big six.

Ninth-placed Brentford are the highest-placed team Chelsea will play between now and the visit of Manchester United on November 28.

In Southampton, Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley, they meet four of the bottom five. Even Leicester, who they travel to on November 20, have endured a troubled start to the season.

It is a run that should provide some respite after so many major tests in the opening two months of the campaign.

How much of a part Werner will get to play in it is anyone’s guess.

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