TIMO WERNER reckons Chelsea are signing one of the best three strikers in the world.
And it is fair to assume the German, who scored six Premier League goals following a £48million move from RB Leipzig, is not including himself in this elite bunch.
If there is one player who knows all about suffering a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge, it is Romelu Lukaku, who is set to return for £97.5million.
Werner, 25, is definitely being handed far more of a chance than Lukaku had in his first stint in West London.
And far from being intimidated by the imminent arrival of another forward, Werner is rolling out the red carpet.
Werner, who hopes to lead Chelsea to another European trophy here at Windsor Park tonight in the Uefa Super Cup against Villarreal, seems genuine when stressing he could benefit from having Belgian Lukaku, 28, at the club.
The German said: “He’s probably one of the best three strikers in the world.
“I don’t think we need to say too much about him. He’s a world-class striker who would benefit any team.
“At Leipzig, it always helped me having a big striker alongside me.
He’s probably one of the best three strikers in the world.
“I’m not the biggest and, when you play on your own up front, you always have the attention of one or two brawny defenders.
“It’s a good new weapon to have in our game that if you play a long ball, he’ll hold it up and then the fast players around him can set off.
"I think that’s good for any team.”
Whether Werner will be played in a front two remains to be seen, but boss Thomas Tuchel will have various options available.
With Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech all set to jostle for a place, along with Werner and Lukaku, here is an attacking line-up every bit as good as Manchester City’s.
Tuchel certainly believes bringing in an experienced striker, having lost Olivier Giroud, will be good for everyone.
Even though it could upset some of the players over the coming months . . .
German Tuchel said: “It is good for any squad if players with a certain quality or attitude arrive.
“But you need to be aware that not everybody is happy if I am a defender and a big player arrives in my position.
“They might not be fully convinced about this arrival, or even be happy about it.
"This is pretty human and we have to take care about this. It is not just about collecting players with talent.
“It is about what can someone bring in terms of character and profile to the group, without disturbing them, but at the same time keeping people on their toes — so they aren’t in the comfort zone.
“It’s about keeping everybody on the front foot and in a state of insecurity where everybody really has to fight for their place.”
For Tuchel, like other top managers, it has been a disjointed pre-season so tonight’s Chelsea team will be a bit mix and match.
It doesn’t feel like pressure because this is what we demand of ourselves, me at the very first point.
This will be the Blues’ first game since their triumph over Manchester City in the Champions League final.
And starting with Villarreal, Manchester United’s Europa League final conquerors, there will be pressure to carry on where they left off in Porto.
As you would expect, Tuchel claims his team will enjoy the pressure.
But this is coming from a man yet to feel any heat from one of the world’s most trigger-happy owners.
Chelsea have a genuine chance of getting close to City this season.
But if Tuchel does struggle over the next few months, Roman Abramovich would have no qualms about pressing the eject button on the manager’s hotseat.
Tuchel said: “It doesn’t feel like pressure because this is what we demand of ourselves, me at the very first point.
'TAMMY WAS CLEARLY NOT HAPPY'
“I want to lead by example, to come into Cobham with a good mood and energy, ready to continue the journey.
“It is not over, it has just started, and hopefully it will be a long journey.
“Does anybody have a recipe how to do better after a Champions League victory?
"I don’t know, it was my first win so I think the courage is to face the challenges, step up and keep on demanding.”
One player whose Chelsea career looks over is striker Tammy Abraham, 23.
The club have accepted a £33m offer from Roma but the player — hoping for Arsenal to make a move — has yet to decide and could feature tonight.
Tuchel said: “Tammy was clearly not happy with the last half a year and he has maybe reason not to be happy.
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“Maybe it was my fault not to push him and trust him at the same level as other players. What are Tammy’s plans?
“Does he fight his way back into the team from the position he ended last season?
"Or does he want to change clubs to one where he has a better chance of being a starter? This is the situation.”
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