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It's Timo Time! Werner can put Chelsea struggles behind him to become Germany's Euro 2020 saviour

12:00 PM EDT 6/18/21
Timo Werner Germany 2021
The forward scored just six Premier League goals this season but he should be recalled for his nation's must-win meeting with Portugal on Saturday

Timo Werner's greatest Chelsea moment so far did not even involve him touching the ball.

The Germany forward was hailed for his decoy run in the Champions League final, allowing Kai Havertz the space to score the only goal against Manchester City and bring the trophy back to London.

Fans and Frank Lampard had believed that Werner would become their new star striker, but the 25-year-old finished the season with just six Premier League goals and a total of 12 across all competitions.

However, Lampard's successor Thomas Tuchel knew that the former RB Leipzig frontman was not the out-and-out goalscorer people expected and that helped take some of the pressure off the £47.5 million ($67m) signing.

Despite not scoring, Werner was a nuisance for Man City in the Champions League final, making excellent runs, holding up the ball and getting a few chances at goal.

These traits are something Germany were sorely lacking in their opening European Championship game against France.

Only two German players hit the target in 90 minutes, and one of those was Mats Hummels, who headed into his own net to give France a 1-0 victory.

After the game, Germany head coach Joachim Low highlighted Germany's lack of penetration.

"It was a brutally intense game. We fought until the very end. I can't blame the team, we gave everything," Low told reporters.

"What was missing was a bit of penetration in the final third. There's no reproach to Mats for the own goal, it was difficult for him to clear the ball."

Joshua Kimmich echoed his manager's comments, believing that Germany were unlucky to lose, especially as France only had one shot on target themselves.

"We weren't the worse team, we dominated the game and went behind with a very, very unlucky goal," Kimmich said. 

"Otherwise, there were relatively few chances to score on either side. We didn't take full risk and open up completely. It's a pity. One point would have been deserved."

The inclusion of Werner would allow Germany to open up more as Kimmich has highlighted. His pace and dribbling ability will pose problems for the Portugal defenders, especially with the ageing Pepe marshalling the backline for the defending champions.

Against France, Low picked no traditional striker as the focal point of his 3-4-3 approach, with Serge Gnabry, Kai Havertz and Thomas Muller leading the line.

Muller is a former World Cup Golden Boot winner, but his game is about his movement and his ability to find space rather than true goalscoring prowess.

Werner is probably similar in that approach despite also having a decent goalscoring record with Germany, but the Chelsea player will inject pace into the attack, which combined with Gnabry or Leroy Sane will force Portugal to defend deeper or get exposed by quick counters.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline against Hungary, Portugal also flattered to deceive in their opening game. They did not score until the 84th minute and found Hungary difficult to break down.

Saturday's game promises to be much more open, especially as Germany cannot afford to drop many more points if they are to progress from the 'Group of Death'.

Ahead of Euro 2020, Werner received a vote of confidence from Germany legend Lothar Matthaus, who believes he become an even greater goal threat for club and country.

"He was the top scorer for Chelsea, nobody scored more goals for Chelsea," Matthaus told the Daily Mail.

"This player was not wearing the No.9 and playing there every weekend like Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku or Robert Lewandowski.

"Give the player the chance to play there every Saturday or Sunday and Werner will score more than 20 goals in the Premier League. He was doing that at Leipzig, 28 goals goals and second in the Bundesliga behind Lewandowski.

"But he is always playing with his heart, giving his best, running right wing, left wing and backwards.

"The problem was he came from Germany to the Premier League and it is different football, a different language and mentality, different media.

"Many things were completely new for the guy. But with Thomas Tuchel he is getting the confidence back he had before at Leipzig.

"I see he is missing chances but he is also playing well and he was the top scorer for Chelsea!"

With Germany creating so few chances against France, Low surely has no choice other than to change his approach against Portugal.

Starting Werner would give Die Mannschaft a new dimension in attack and give Werner a chance to show Chelsea fans, and the world, that he can score goals at the highest level.