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Comment: Make or Break for Pulisic, Ziyech, Werner & Chelsea Attackers Ahead of Summer Transfer Window

Chelsea are at the half way point of the 2021/22 season and are in a good position to make it a successful campaign. 

Thomas Tuchel's side remain in charge of their own fate in the race for Premier League top four, they have reached the Carabao Cup final, as well as remaining in the FA Cup and Champions League. 

The Champions League holders also have the Club World Cup coming up next month in Abu Dhabi as they look to be crowned the World's best. 

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As Thiago Silva put it, "the most important part of the season is still yet to come" for Chelsea and that is very much the case for Tuchel's squad, in particular his attackers. 

They have four months to prove their credentials for their futures at Chelsea. It may seem far-fetched, but time is running out for them to deliver on a level that is demanded in west London. 

As per recent reports, the mood among the attackers 'isn't good' as Tuchel continues to select different attacking combinations, berating them for each and every single mistake. 

It has left some considering their futures at the club this summer, but the club will also have the same stance regarding the players. The feeling could, and should, be mutual. 

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Chelsea have been wasteful this season, very wasteful, which has been picked up on by Tuchel on a weekly basis, but he continues to back his players to find their form. 

"One big reason is for sure the chances that we missed," said Tuchel back in December when Chelsea drew 1-1 to a depleted Everton side.

Chelsea's attackers in numbers this season so far (all competitions)

Kai Havertz - 25 games, 5 goals, 3 assists

Mason Mount - 31 games, 7 goals, 7 assists

Callum Hudson-Odoi - 25 games, 3 goals, 5 assists

Christian Pulisic - 19 games, 3 goals, 3 assists

Hakim Ziyech - 24 games, 6 goals, 4 assists

Timo Werner - 19 games, 6 goals, 2 assists

Romelu Lukaku - 24 games, 8 goals, 2 assists

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Granted, Chelsea have had injury and Covid problems this term which has seen players have to play in secondary roles, but it can't detract from the fact many of the forwards haven't been playing on a consistently high level since their arrivals. 

Pulisic arrived from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2019 for a £57.6 million transfer fee. He has yet to rediscover his form of post-lockdown in 2020 as he played a pivotal role in securing Champions League qualification for the following season. 

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His time at Chelsea has been hampered by injury after injury setback which has no doubt affected his output and potential to perform at the highest level for the Blues. 

But how long do Chelsea give the USMNT star? Pulisic's current deal runs out in June 2024, so there is still value left for Tuchel's side to bank should they wish to do so. 

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Ziyech has found life under Tuchel tough after not playing in his preferred position off the right-wing in a four-back system as the German opted for a three-back formation. 

The Moroccan's goal against Spurs capped off his best performance in a Chelsea shirt since he arrived from Ajax. To no surprise that as from his preferred position, something Tuchel admitted post-match

"It was one of his best matches today because he was very reliable," reflected Tuchel on Sunday. "It was also maybe his best position to be on the wing. We had the wide position on the right wing, that position does not normally exist in that particular manner when we play 3-4-3, it is more of a wing back."

The 28-year-old said back in December he was starting to enjoy his football more 

“I think I’m starting to enjoy it more and more," Ziyech told Ziggo Sport. "When I enjoy it, I am at my best. I feel good and then everything goes by itself for me."

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As Tuchel explores the possibility of keeping a four-back system to maximise Ziyech's output, "maybe we can think about doing this," responded Tuchel to keeping the system to get the best out of the Chelsea attack, the forwards haven't been good enough this term. 

Countless chances have been wasted, moves broken down in transition and on the counter, which has been highlighted through the fact Mason Mount has the most goals contributions in the side.

As for Timo Werner, he continues to divide opinion across the fanbase. An individual who cannot have his commitment knocked, however his output and record in front of goal can. 

In 71 appearances since his switch from RB Leipzig, Werner has recorded 18 goals and 17 assists. But those numbers could have been, and should be far higher. But it just hasn't worked out.

Werner knows that, admitting earlier this month: "Sometimes even I don’t know why they are supporting me so much, because as a striker you want to score as many goals as possible and sometimes I miss this aim, I have to be honest about that. It makes it a lot of fun to play in front of the Chelsea fans and when they give you the support like they give to me it makes you even stronger when you miss chances or have hard times.

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"On the other side, I try to give my best in every game, to give 100 per cent every time, so that the fans are happy at the end, and also so the team are happy at the end. It’s hard to explain, but of course when you go into the stadium and the fans like you and they support you and they sing your name it makes it much more fun and makes you more proud.

"I say this because I know what it’s like to go to stadiums where the fans don’t like you and hate you, so it’s very nice and very good to feel this way around."

Werner offers flashbacks to Fernando Torres' spell at Chelsea. For all of the effort, it just wasn't meant to be. 

Chelsea still have plenty to play for this season and will need their forwards firing on all cylinders if they are wanting to clinch silverware to back up their Champions League triumph from last season. 

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But Tuchel will need consistency and ruthlessness from this squad. It'll be down to the German to utilise and play the system which benefits the squad most. However, when the chances open up in front of goal, the pressure and responsibility is down to the players who have to deliver. 

If they don't, they won't be the only ones considering their own futures this summer. The club will be questioning their long-term futures at Stamford Bridge as they strive for more success under Tuchel's tutelage. 


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