Timo Werner afflicted by Chelsea’s striker curse: Richard Buxton
His Stamford Bridge struggles are reminiscent of Higuain, Torres and Morata's
Chelsea's No. 9 curse is now plaguing a player who does not even wear the shirt.
Timo Werner may not sport the same ill-fated number which cursed Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata and Fernando Torres, but his struggles are starting to mirror their own.
The trio's tenures at Stamford Bridge ended up proving that the best days of their respective careers were behind them. Stakes for the German international, however, are far higher after faltering again in a late 1-0 win over Fulham yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Werner is still the Blues' joint-top scorer this season, with nine in all competitions, yet a barren run in the English Premier League has now stretched to around 11 hours without a goal.
By personal admission, he is struggling to come to terms with the physicality of his new surroundings and expectations heightened by a £47.5 million (S$85.8m) price tag.
Being shunted out wide in a three-man attack has also done little to help his case, with RB Leipzig's penchant for a two-pronged frontline allowing him to plunder goals at will.
More than that, though, Werner's inability to find the target in the EPL is a clear sign of a player shorn of confidence in situations where he had previously flourished.
At Craven Cottage, he spurned several opportunities to break his domestic duck that vindicated Frank Lampard's reluctance to persist with the 24-year-old in a starring role.
History is potentially dissuading the former midfielder from repeating the mistakes that he witnessed first-hand in the west Londoners' dressing room with Torres in particular.
Persistence failed to overcome resistance for the ex-Liverpool talisman as his own eight-figure move to the capital a decade ago was hardly prolific.
The Spaniard's failure to fire consistently became a punchline that delighted Chelsea's many detractors at the time and left a succession of managers tearing their hair out.
Lampard's change in approach has yet to kick-start Werner on the goal trail and could soon carry far-reaching implications for the one-time Leipzig marksman as Germany coach Joachim Loew keeps tabs on his development in the build-up to this year's European Championship.
Pressure continues to mount on both Die Mannschaft's coach and his Chelsea counterpart, with the former already facing calls for his head from World Cup winner Lothar Matthaeus, if things do not go according to plan again at this summer's Finals.
Loew ruthlessly discarded Thomas Mueller, alongside several Germany veterans, two years ago in the belief that Werner and others were adept enough to step into the fold.
But if the striker continues to flounder at the Bridge, the mop-topped Svengali might be forced to swallow his pride and consider handing Mueller a recall in the coming months.
Lampard's belief that the goals will flow for Werner once more may not be enough to keep his place for club and country as both aim to deliver overdue statements of intent.
Time is not something which Chelsea's all-time top scorer will be afforded in the dugout with hopes of an EPL title bid already disintegrating into a European qualification scrap.
Werner is likely to be granted that same courtesy if he remains incapable of making the best of what Lampard described as "bread and butter" scenarios in front of goal.
Unless he finds a way to start gorging again, begging for scraps will not be an option.