Thomas Tuchel has admitted he was surprised to see Timo Werner go public about his desire to play more at Chelsea.

The German forward recently stressed that he ‘could be happy’ at any other club, adding that he wants to play more in the build-up to the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Werner was then left out of the Chelsea squad that lost to Charlotte on Thursday morning – an absence Tuchel stressed was purely down to a hamstring injury – and the boss was asked for his reaction to Werner’s comments after the game.

“I’m surprised, I would be very happy as a young guy having a contract at Chelsea Football Club,” Tuchel said. “I would be one of the happiest people on the planet.”

When asked how Werner could earn more minutes, he added: “Show quality, take your place and defend your place. I would be one of the happiest people on the planet having a contract with Chelsea. If he said this, I do not understand.”

Despite the confusion, Tuchel was adamant that he has no plans to offload Werner this summer.

“Sure, he is our player, sure,” he responded when asked if he still hopes to count on the forward next season.

Werner has struggled since his move from RB Leipzig in 2020, netting just 23 goals in 89 games for Chelsea and often finding himself out of the starting lineup under Tuchel, who has added to the competition by signing Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

Sterling played on Werner’s preferred left side of the forward line during his debut outing against Charlotte and is expected to keep that position over the coming season, which will only add to the German’s concerns over game time.

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