Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole believes Timo Werner could be the key to Chelsea beating Manchester City in Saturday’s Champions League final.
The £45m summer signing has struggled to adapt to life in England since his move from RB Leipzig, with just six goals in 35 Premier League appearances doing little to suggest the Blues were right to shell out such an eye-watering figure to secure his services.
Thomas Tuchel’s side face City in the Champions League showpiece event this weekend, and despite Werner’s underwhelming Chelsea career to date, Cole believes the Germany international could have a big say in which team is crowned European champions.
“Timo Werner is all wrong for the way Pep plays, no system is impenetrable,” BT Sport pundit Cole told 90min. “Pep plays a certain way and if you get it right and get a player as explosive as Timo, as intelligent as him making runs you are going to get space at some point in the game. He is the player to hurt them.”
Despite going into the contest as underdogs, Cole believes Chelsea’s two wins over City this season – one in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup semi-final – mean they have nothing to fear and the pressure is off given how well they’ve done to even make the final.
“It’s almost a bonus,” he said. “I don’t think even the club would have expected to get there this soon, but you’re here, you’re at the top table of European football and you’re playing a team you’ve beaten already this season so that takes that fear element out of it. I really do see this as a free hit for this team.”
Chelsea kicked off their Champions League campaign this season under the stewardship of Frank Lampard before he was dismissed in January.
When Cole was asked if his former teammate deserves any credit if Chelsea are crowned European champions he stopped short of giving a definitive answer, though eluded to the fact he thinks 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 said.
Cole went on to admit Chelsea should do all they can to pursue Inter’s Romelu Lukaku after the Blues were linked with a move for their former striker, insisting Chelsea need more options if they’re to challenge for the Premier League title next year.
“Yes [they need Lukaku],” he added. “Werner is a quality player and I think he’ll be an important player tomorrow, but I think if Lukaku is available at the right price Chelsea would take him because he’s one of the top strikers.
“Every team will strengthen this year that’s for sure and you need options to win titles.”
BT Sport will show Manchester City vs Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League final live from 6:00pm on Saturday 29th May. Whoever you watch the final with, watch it together with BT.
For more info go to btsport.com/final.