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Football Reporting


Tuchel warns misfiring Chelsea strikers he could consider replacements in transfer market

The Blues manager says there’s time for his forwards to show that he doesn’t need to enter the market after the season is finished

Thomas Tuchel has said the next two months are important for his forwards to show that Chelsea don’t need to enter the transfer market in the summer.

Dortmund striker Erling Haaland tops Chelsea’s shortlist this summer but it is thought that Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona are also tracking the Norwegian forward.

Timo Werner has scored just once in his last 20 Premier League games, while Kai Havertz, who is increasingly being playing as a striker, hasn’t scored since September. Although Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount have chipped in with several strikes in recent weeks, Tuchel has admitted that his forwards are falling short.

What was said?

“For the next eight weeks, we just have to think how we can improve the scoring and the scoring situation, and nothing else, and then in the summer we will think further and think together with the club about what solutions are the best solutions for us,” Tuchel told reporters from Cobham Training Centre.

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“Is it the best solution to stay with our squad? Is it the best solution to stay in the formation that we have? Can we improve? Can we improve on the training pitch individually and as a group? To create more big chances? These are the questions for June.

“For now, in April when we arrive, everybody knows that when you read the statistics, it’s obvious and the guys lack this last percentage of confidence when they don’t score. It’s like for a goalkeeper when he needs the clean sheets to be in full confidence and to be in full trust of himself.

“But [the strikers] work hard for us and they work hard for us defensively. The strikers are part of this successful run that we have and they are part of these wins and they play their part.

“Obviously, every striker wants to score and we, you, always want the No.9 and the No.11 and the wingers and everybody, the No.10s, to score because it’s their main targets and it’s in their characteristic, but, obviously, it’s a bit hard for them.

“At the same time, it’s like this. You are out there. You are out there on the stage. You play for Chelsea. You play in three competitions, so you have to face adversity. You have to face the expectations that everybody has from you when you play as an offensive guy for Chelsea because, honestly, when you play as a defender for Chelsea everybody expects you to deliver on point and to deliver in every match and to be able to defend in every match, so this is what we expect from our strikers.

“These are high demands but I have the feeling that they accept them and from there on, we will push them. Everybody wants higher numbers, us, you, but it’s difficult for us to produce, obviously, but we will not stop pushing.”

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Is Tammy Abraham the answer?

Tammy Abraham remains Chelsea’s top scorer this season with 12 goals despite having played almost half as much as Werner.

The England international has had an ankle injury but he has also found himself out of Tuchel’s matchday squads when fit despite his impressive goals-per-minute ratio. Tuchel went into detail about why he doesn’t select Abraham.

“First of all, I don’t think he’s the top scorer since I arrived,” Tuchel said. “So I can only judge what I see and what we have together from the first minute we had together from when I arrived. I saw a bright young man in front of me.

“I saw a guy who is self-confident, who has a lot of talent. I’m absolutely happy with the way he took the loans and always having a huge impact in the clubs where he played. But it cannot be that in a period of such good results that suddenly the guys who don’t play are the winners. This cannot be.

“Because first of all, you need to be in the squad and if you are in a winning squad, you have your part in this winning squad.

“We are aware that he scored, we are aware that he scored a lot in the cup, also, so to bring it to, to translate it to actual reality, to translate it to impressions we have right now and to translate to impressions we had actually on the pitch when he played for use, in this run, we have to accept he had some tactical changes he had to accept.”

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