Should Chelsea Fans Be Worried About Timo Werner’s Finishing Ability?

Should Chelsea Fans Be Worried About Timo Werner's Finishing Ability?

Despite a bright start to his Blue career, Timo Werner has been subject to growing concerns of his ability to convert chances thus far his arrival.

The 24-year-old arrived West London on the back of his most prolific season to date in Germany where he netted 31 goals and registered a further 12 assists across all competitions, with his transfer probably the most anticipated and exciting for Blues fans.

Despite some inevitable pressure on him given the fee paid to bring him to the club, it hasn’t taken long for the German to find his feet at Stamford Bridge, already scoring eight goals across all competitions whilst registering a further three assists for his new team-mates.

One would ordinarily expect this stats to be considerably pleasing in the eyes of most, yet the German has been on the end of some criticism in recent weeks which has been centred around his finishing capabilities.

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Across the course of the campaign so far, the German has missed a number of high-quality chances and on the back of this, he’s received some vilification, particularly on social media. The below tweet for example highlights that Timo Werner has missed six chances carrying an Expected Goal (xG) value of over 0.40.

For those still unsure what xG is, the same is a metric that determines just how good a chance is. It considers a range of factors including the distance from goal, the angle of the shot, whether it was a player’s feet or a header and the type of assist. This is done by utilising historical shot data from over 300,000 shots – although that number can vary from model to model.

It’s not clear what model was used in the above tweet, but interestingly according to data platform Wyscout, Werner’s eight goals this season have come from a combined xG value of 7.61.

What this would highlight is that despite these missed chances, the German international is still very much performing in line with his xG by scoring the number of goals that would be expected based on the chances created for him so far. This would suggest there is little to be concerned about from a finishing perspective so far.

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Additionally, it’s important to note that Werner is very much an output player. What is meant by that term is that he’s a forward who possess an ability to regularly work himself into good shooting locations and as a result will attempt plenty of shots within a game.

In the Bundesliga last season, the former RB Leipzig man was averaging 3.6 shots per 90. That average has dropped slightly this season to 2.3, perhaps due to featuring almost exclusively on the left of the Chelsea attack. However, as we see from his below shot map, he continues to get himself into really good locations in and around the penalty box.

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Being able to get into these good locations means he attempts plenty of shots across the course of a match. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is another example of this type of forward. The Egyptian isn’t always the most accurate finisher, yet, his goal record is almost unrivalled in the division.

This is due to the fact that the sheer volume of shots he generates means any poorly executed efforts tend not to prove decisive in terms of scoring goals as he will normally create himself another chance at some point in the match.

Werner’s capacity to do the same makes him an ever-present goal threat and most definitely an asset to Chelsea’s front line.

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