Timo Werner remains “one of the best strikers in Europe” and his struggles at Chelsea can be explained by the Blues often using him in the wrong position, says Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Frank Lampard invested heavily on another proven frontman during the summer transfer window of 2020.
Amid rival interest from clubs across the continent, those at Stamford Bridge moved quickly to put a £47.5 million ($65m) deal in place with RB Leipzig.
Given how prolific Werner had been in his homeland, the 24-year-old was expected to hit the ground running in England.
He started positively enough, reaching eight goals by early November, but the target has been found just once through his last 14 appearances – and that solitary strike came in an FA Cup win over League Two side Morecambe.
Lampard has continued to back Werner throughout his wobble, as comparisons are made to big-money flops of the past, but Hasenhuttl believes the Blues need to start using a potential attacking weapon in his favoured role on a regular basis.
The current Southampton coach, who worked with Werner at Leipzig, told reporters: “I know Timo very well and I have seen him in situations where he was not good.
“Most of the time when I have seen this is because of the reason that the game doesn’t fit to him. The team didn’t play in a way where he can bring his best on the pitch, I think.
“He is definitely a player where you have to adapt your game to him. If you do this, he will give you everything you need from a striker.
“But, therefore, he has some qualities you really have to focus on.
"The good thing for him, I think at Leipzig when I was there, is we concentrated completely on his qualities. Our quick transitions after winning the ball, it was perfect for our game.
“Also, when he was with Julian [Nagelsmann], he was also scoring a lot of goals.”
Hasenhuttl added, with Werner having been asked to fill a wide role for Chelsea at times this season: “You really need to bring him into his best position so he can bring his strength on the pitch. For me, he is one of the best strikers in Europe.”
Lampard’s expensively-assembled squad, that has slipped off the Premier League title pace of late, will be back in action on Tuesday when they take in a trip to Leicester.