Alan Shearer has suggested that Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel made a major error in not including Timo Werner in his side to take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final.
The Blues fell to defeat at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening, Reds defender Kostas Tsimikas converting the winning spot-kick for Jurgen Klopp’s men in the capital after Mason Mount had seen his effort saved by Alisson.
One man who did not have the opportunity in the shootout was German forward Werner. The German was left on the bench by Tuchel, not even being handed the opportunity as a substitute, a decision that left Shearer perplexed.
Talking to the BBC ahead of kick-off at Wembley Stadium, the Newcastle United icon said: “With Chelsea, Havertz is injured. But I’m surprised Werner’s not playing, because of his pace, because of the high line we know Liverpool play.
“I know he gets offside a lot but it would have been a huge threat for him to be running behind.”
The decision to leave Werner on the bench is the latest in a string of frustrations for the striker since his move from RB Leipzig in 2020. The 26-year-old only scored 12 goals in all competitions throughout his first season in west London, whilst his productivity has not improved throughout the current campaign with just 11 strikes – only four of them in the Premier League.
Should Chelsea sell Timo Werner this summer? Have your say in the comments below.
He has also fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge having initially been usurped in the pecking order by Romelu Lukaku following his club-record return to the club from Inter Milan, whilst Kai Havertz has also regularly been preferred in a central attacking role. Whilst Shearer has criticised Tuchel’s decision not to hand Werner an opportunity, the Chelsea boss revealed that Werner was not quite fit enough to make an appearance at Wembley.
Speaking after the full-time whistle, he said: “Then Timo felt uncomfortable in the warm-up and said he could not play. A hamstring as well. We had no options.”
Tuchel will certainly be hoping that he can call upon the services of his compatriot as the Blues aim to round off their season on a positive. Chelsea will be aiming to seal third place in the Premier League over the final two fixtures of the campaign.
They at first host Leicester City at Stamford Bridge in midweek before then welcoming already-relegated Watford on the final day. Tuchel will certainly hope that he can correct his side’s stuttering form on home soil.
The Blues have only won one out of their last five Premier League games at Stamford Bridge having been pegged back by Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out, the visitors coming from two goals down.