Dutch legend Marco Van Basten recently criticized Timo Werner's footballing ability. When a Dutch talk show host claimed he was "at least 18 times better" than Werner, van Basten agreed wholeheartedly.
"At least. I even think that's an understatement. It almost makes you sad to look at it. He just doesn't have self-confidence. You can see that he is in the right place every time. He just needs to get more rest in his graduation. Werner is simply not good enough for the world's top."Marco van Basten
Van Basten isn't alone in his thinking, as Werner's onfield performances last season sparked much debate amongst fans and pundits. While his 12 goals and 15 assists in all competitions are not bad at face value, his overall play drew a variety of criticisms.
Chelsea signed him last summer for nearly $90 million from RB Leipzig only hurt his case more as many branded him as a waste of money.
At the time, fans rejoiced as the deal was even seen as a bargain. After all, Werner had just scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga. However, he has failed to replicate those numbers and play in England.
For much of the past season, Werner looked like a shell of the player that he was two years ago. While the goal production decreasing wasn't too much of an issue, the real problem seemed to be his confidence. Often, he missed relatively easy chances, leaving fans and coaches puzzled.
Even Werner himself opened up about his confidence issues earlier this year.
"I had these two or three games after the international break where I missed a lot of chances, and that was in my head, and after this, my confidence was gone."Timo Werner
Chelsea addressed the need for another striker by signing Romelu Lukaku this summer. Many, including Lukaku himself, regard him as world-class when it comes to striking options.
So far, the reputation seems valid, as he already has three goals in three league games this season. Perhaps he can fill the void of Werner's inability to score at times.