Timo Werner blames VAR for low goal tally at Chelsea and applauds proposed rule change
Chelsea striker Timo Werner has blamed VAR for his disappointing first season in English football. The German forward has welcomed an impending rule change by the Premier League which will see strikers given greater leeway in offside calls next season.
Werner arrived at Chelsea after they activated his £47.5million release clause, prising him away from RB Leipzig where he bagged a top-class 95 goal haul in just 158 games.
That scoring rate put him up there with virtually all of Europe’s heavyweights, meaning he arrived in West London amid great expectations from fans.
The Germany international said: “I read that they want to make the VAR line thicker in England, that would be good for me because then I would have five more goals this season.
“Basically the VAR is fine and I say that, although I suffered most of it.”
Despite Werner’s ambitious claims, an extra five goals would only have taken his Premier League tally to 11 for the season.
Although that league total could not be overly criticised, it would still leave him behind the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and hris Wood who play for lesser teams and also occasionally suffer at the hands of VAR.
Although the former Leipzig man reached double figures in all competitions and took home a Champions League winners medal, he gradually became infamous for his consistently tame and inaccurate finishing as the season unfolded.
Despite this, sections of Chelsea fans were still impressed with his tireless work rate and willingness to run in behind.
Still, the German’s poor display of finishing during more than 50 games for The Blues this season suggests that it is not simply a bad run of form, but an area of his game which needs serious work.
Naturally, for a striker whose game is built around lurking on the shoulder of the last defender, a player like Werner is always likely to be more susceptible to tight VAR decisions.
As recently reported by The Athletic, the Premier League are set to introduce ‘thicker lines’ when analysing tight offside calls which should grant greater freedom for players like Werner to run in behind.
The national groan of yet another goal disallowed thanks to a player’s toenail, forehead or bootlace straying offside could become a thing of the past as the authorities have seemingly listened to the complaints of players, managers and fans.
With Chelsea reportedly in the market for another striker this summer, Werner may have to take full advantage of this rule change and finally get comfortable in front of goal in Chelsea blue in order to earn the full trust of manager Thomas Tuchel.
For now, however, he must concentrate his goalscoring talents towards Euro 2020 as Germany battle to escape the group of death.