What does the return of Lukaku mean for Werner's future at Chelsea?

Stefan Bienkowski
Struggling Timo Werner: I can handle Chelsea pressure

Chelsea fans couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday afternoon of football when their team faced Arsenal on Sunday.

Not only did they embarrass their cross-city rivals with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Mikel Arteta’s side, but the manner in which the goals were scored were simply the icing on the cake.

Romelu Lukaku, the club’s star signing of the summer window and the man charged with being the answer to all of Chelsea’s attacking problems, needed just 15 minutes to re-open his account with the club.

Then, as if that wasn’t impressive enough, the towering striker played a key role in Thomas Tuchel’s side bagging a second just 20 minutes later. A perfect return for the man of the hour.

However, one member of Chelsea’s camp that may have struggled to take part in the celebrations was striker Timo Werner.

The German international was, of course, last summer’s answer to Chelsea’s goal scoring problems and has so far failed to offer the kind of direct route to goal Lukaku made look so easy on Sunday.

So are Werner’s days numbered at Stamford Bridge now that Lukaku has arrived and potentially taken his spot in the team?

Does Werner have to leave Chelsea?

There’s no doubt that Chelsea’s starting XI on Sunday suggested that Werner’s role in Tuchel’s team is now a diminished one.

The German striker was benched in place of Lukaku and for the most part it seemed to work extremely well for Chelsea in their victory over Arsenal.

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One positive for Werner was the fact that he was substituted on for Kai Havertz, rather than Lukaku, in the second half which may suggest that Tuchel sees the pacy forward as a complimentary player to the Belgian target man rather than an alternative option.

However, with Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic still to come back into the side, it’s hard to see how Werner can continue picking up consistent game time if he’s no longer the No.9 in this side.

We’ll need to wait and see if Tuchel plans on rotating his forward players, but for now it seems more likely that Werner may be looking for a new club by this time next year, if not sooner.