Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole insists Timo Werner will “come good” after Rafael van der Vaart labelled him a “blind horse”.
The season before joining Chelsea the Germany international scored 28 goals in 34 Bundesliga appearances for RB Leipzig but he has failed to match that scoring rate in England.
Werner has instead endured a frustrating first season at Stamford Bridge, scoring just five Premier League goals, with the club sacking Frank Lampard in January and appointing Thomas Tuchel.
It was thought that the new manager would get the best out of his compatriot but he has only scored once in 13 appearances under Tuchel.
And Van der Vaart called out Werner for his poor record and urged Tuchel to start Hakim Ziyech in front of the 25-year-old.
When asked whether he favours Ziyech over Werner because of the Moroccan’s Ajax connections, Van der Vaart told Ziggo Sports: “No, it’s because he’s the best option.
“He is always able to provide for the striker and Giroud needs guys like him. Mount plays in exactly the same way, so that’s why I would pick him too.
“Timo Werner is super fast, and maybe that is something good to have in an away game when Chelsea are under pressure, but all he does is put his head down and run, which leads to nothing.
“Mount is a terrific footballer, and I think he can get even better as he gains some power, but Werner is truly a blind horse. He already shown that’s what he’s like when he played in Germany – and he’s doing it again now.”
Cole was asked on talkSPORT what he thought of Van der Vaarts comments, to which he replied: “He’ll come good. As a pundit, you’ve got to be very careful with your words.
“Timo Werner scored 30 goals in the Bundesliga last season. He’s not settled as well as he would have liked but there’s enough quality there. He does certain things well.
“Listen, he’s not cultured, he’s not a Dennis Bergkamp, but he’s a runner, he’s a hustler and a bustler, a bit like Jamie Vardy. I think he will season as he gets older and as he works on things. I’ve got no doubt that he can become a top, top player and I think he’ll come good.
“The two lads have come over from Germany [Werner and Kai Havertz] in a pandemic year, they’re trying to settle. They’re both young men so you need to give them time. I’ve seen enough to think they will come good.”