Gianfranco Zola believes Timo Werner would be best used as a wide attacker by Chelsea, as the Germany international's goalless run for the Blues reaches 12 games.
The forward, who had been so prolific at RB Leipzig, quickly found the target on eight occasions for the Premier League heavyweights following a big-money summer transfer. He has, however, looked out of sorts in recent appearances.
Frank Lampard has alternative options available to him down the middle, with Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud impressing of late, while Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech patrol the flanks.
Zola believes Werner should be an alternative in wide areas, along with Callum Hudson-Odoi, saying the 24-year-old is not cut out to be a central striker when used by himself.
The Blues legend told talkSPORT: “I think Werner has got very good qualities, unbelievable qualities, but in my opinion he plays best when he’s got a lot of pitch in front of him, when he has to attack the space.
“The problem with Chelsea is that there many times you play a team that is defending deep; that is a different matter and in that case players with the ability of Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham, they can do better in that contest.
“So if you want to play Werner, maybe it’s right to play him in the wide areas. Also I think it’s down to Timo to work and also be effective when the spaces in front of him are less and work as a team.
“This could be a strength for Chelsea, because if you’ve got many players with ability you have to understand very well the abilities of the players and use them differently in the games, because not every game is the same.”
Chelsea have been struggling of late, taking just four points from their last six Premier League games, and pressure is building on under-fire coach Lampard.
Zola believes a fellow club legend will come good if patience is shown, with the Italian another of those that believes long-term planning is in order in west London.
He said of the Blues’ inconsistency: “Well it’s certainly not ideal, otherwise we wouldn’t be having these conversations.
“There are some issues that need to be addressed, something has to be improved for sure, but I believe Frank has the potential, the ability and he has the squad to make it better, that’s for sure and without question for me.
“The balance needs to be better but this will come; it will come through work and experience, it’s something that doesn’t come in a week or a month.
“The expectations are very high and the demands from the club are to get results and to get trophies.
“I understand exactly the situation Frank is going through. Sometimes it’s about trust and believing a coach can do well, can face the circumstances and get the best out of it – I think that is the point, really. There’s still a lot to play this season.”