Could Chelsea star Timo Werner be the latest Blues striker flop, after glaring miss for Germany, joining Morata and Co?

Could Chelsea star Timo Werner be the latest Blues striker flop, after glaring miss for Germany, joining Morata and Co?

April 1, 2021

WHEN you're inheriting a shirt previously worn by Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, you're going to feel the pressure.

Timo Werner joined the Blues from RB Leipzig in a £53million deal, and was expected to propel the West London side to Premier League, as he was handed the No11 jersey.

In the Bundesliga, he was one of Europe's most-feared strikers – netting 34 times in all competitions as he helped his side reach the Champions League semi-finals.

Yet, in the Premier League it's a different story for the 25-year-old forward. Just five league goals in 28 games doesn't look like a good investment by owner Roman Abramovich so far.

And on Wednesday, a glaring miss in Germany's shock 2-1 defeat to North Macedonia just summed up his season and his confidence at the moment.

But Werner isn't the first high-profile marksman to suffer stage-fright at Stamford Bridge.

Here's some others who fell foul to Chelsea's dreaded striker curse.

ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO

AT AC Milan, Shevchenko will always be thought of as one of their greatest strikers of all-time, mentioned alongside greats like Marco van Basten and Gianni Rivera.

However, it's a mystery how such a dominant player on the world stage flopped on our shores.

He joined for £31m in 2006, two years after winning the Ballon d'Or, at his peak at 29.

In his first season, Shevchenko managed just four Premier League goals in 30 games.

In his second, five goals. Incoming boss Luis Felipe Scolari decided enough was enough, and he was sent on loan back to Milan.

Then, in 2009 he returned to Dynamo Kiev.

ALVARO MORATA

SPANISH centre forward Morata arrived from Real Madrid for £60m – a club record transfer fee.

But it was the start of things to come after he missed a penalty in a shootout defeat to Arsenal on his debut in the Charity Shield.

Although he scored 11 Premier League goals, his form on Europe was patchy with just one strike in seven.

He finished his first season with 15 goals, before scoring 9 in 24 games in all competitions the following campaign.

Somehow, Chelsea got most of their money back by selling him to Atletico Madrid for £58m.

FERNANDO TORRES

SOME Chelsea fans will argue his goal against Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the Champions League semi-final in 2012 was worth his £50m transfer fee.

But the reality is Torres was a shadow of the striker that defenders feared coming up against at Anfield when he led Liverpool's forward line.

The facts back that up too – with 45 goals in 172 games with the West Londoners.

Eventually, after loans to AC Milan and Atletico Madrid, the Spaniard moved back to Spain.

Since retiring, he looks fitter than ever and owns his own gyms in Madrid.


ROMELU LUKAKU

THE giant Belgium striker is flying for club and country, scoring goals for fun at Inter Milan, who are gunning for the Serie A title.

Lukaku joined Chelsea in 2011 from Anderlecht in a £17m deal, but struggled to dislodge Torres in the first team.

In his following season, he joined West Brom on loan and was a big success – scoring 17 Premier League goals.

He was then loaned out to Everton, where again he showed his class as a target man.

In 2017, Lukaku joined Manchester United for £75m deal. Amazingly, in his six years as a Chelsea player he played just 15 times and failed to hit the back of the net.

RADAMEL FALCAO

COLOMBIAN hitman Falcao scored goals everywhere he went, from Portugal to Spain to France and most recently in Turkey.

But in England, nothing went right for the usually prolific striker.

After a dismal spell at Manchester United, Chelsea gave Falcao another opportunity in our league on a season-long loan costing £4m – with the option of making the transfer permanent for £38m, as well as paying him a mega salary of £170,000-per-week.

However, he struggled for injuries and played just 12 times – scoring one goal.

Falcao returned back to Monaco, where he re-found his goalscoring touch.

GONZALO HIGUAIN

FITNESS problems always seemed to be an issue for the Argentina poacher, who was used to the slower game in Italy.

He was brought to Stamford Bridge on loan in January, 2019 by his former manager at Napoli, Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri had got so much out of him in Italy, but in England the goals dried up.

Five goals in 19 games, with the standout being a brace against Huddersfield, didn't represent Higuain's prowess in front of goal.

Since 2020 he has played in the MLS for David Beckham's Inter Miami.

ADRIAN MUTU

THE Romanian striker's penchant for getting into bother was his biggest undoing at Stamford Bridge.

Mutu was a sensation for Parma in Serie A, before he arrived in a £15m deal in London the summer Abramovich arrived as a Premier League owner and changed the football landscape in this country.

In 2004, he had a fallout with Jose Mourinho over his fitness and later was banned after testing positive for cocaine.

His off-the-field antics, including allegedly sleeping with a porn star and sucking her blood in a newspaper sting didn't help his cause either.

Chelsea sacked him after the cocaine ban and are still seeking damages.

MATEJA KEZMAN

A FOX in the box at Partizan Belgrade and PSV, Kezman arrived at Stamford Bridge as a reputation as an out-and-out goalscorer.

Prior to his debut in England, the Serbian scored 38 times in all competitions in Eindhoven.

At Chelsea, though, something got lost in translation when he was signed by Mourinho for £6m.

Kezman managed seven goals in 41 games, and was sold for the following season to Atletico Madrid.

Again, respect to the bean-counters in SW6 for getting their money back in the £6million sale.

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