London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Timo Werner’s decision to join the club next season is an exciting sign of where the Blues are headed.
German international forward Werner, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions so far this season, was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool.
However, Chelsea pursued their interest to meet Werner’s reported 60 million euro (£54 million, $67 million) release clause as Liverpool’s dwindled due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I had good conversations with him personally where I think he understands what I want to do here with the club, how we work, how we play,” Lampard said in a videoconference ahead of Chelsea’s return to action at Aston Villa on Sunday.
“It came across as a very exciting option for him because he obviously had some very good options. We are happy with that and it was very joined up from our end how we went about it.”
Chelsea are in the driving seat to seal a return to the Champions League next season as they are in fourth position, with a three-point advantage over Manchester United.
However, Lampard has at times bemoaned his side’s lack of killer instinct this season. They won just six of their 17 league games before the three-month shutdown.
A transfer ban meant Lampard could not spend in his first summer in charge despite the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
Chelsea have moved quickly to give the former England international more firepower for next season, with the signing of Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech also completed in February.
“Where we probably couldn’t do as much business in the last couple of windows for whatever reason has given us a chance to see some youth have more time in the team, but we were very clear that we want to improve,” said Lampard.
“Timo Werner was a signing we felt would improve us. I’m certainly very excited to have him playing for Chelsea.”
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