Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku seemed like a dream come true for Chelsea fans at the start of the season. Werner had been admittedly inconsistent in his first season with The Blues, but his impressive stats in the Bundesliga promised more from the German.
Lukaku had a more than impressive season with Serie A winners Inter Milan, where he scored 24 goals and assisted a further 10 for the Italian giants.
However, both have failed to set the Premier League alight this season. Lukaku looked worth the investment as he scored on his Premier League debut, but an injury and an ill-timed interview with Sky in Italy all but sunk his season.
Lukaku has five goals and a single assist to his name in his 19 Premier League appearances, but has fared a bit better in the cup competitions. The Belgian has two goals and an assist in the Champions League, two goals in the Club World Cup and three goals in the FA Cup.
Werner’s statistics also leave much to be desired, with only one goal and one assist in 14 appearances in the league. Like his fellow frontman, Werner has had better showings in the cup competitions. In the Champions League, the German has three goals and an assist, two goals and two assists in the FA Cup and a goal in the Carabao Cup.
The weakness in the frontline is most apparent when compared directly to title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. Chelsea have scored 57 goals in the Premier League this season, with an average of 2.04 goals per match, 397 shots and 55 big chances created.
Whereas league leaders City have 68 goals for the season, 2.34 goals per match, 536 shots and 65 big chances created. Liverpool have even more, 75 goals, 2.59 goals per match, 555 shots and 81 big chances created.
The gap in quality of the various front lines show what clearly needs to change for The Blues next season in order to compete.
Though a problem in the current Chelsea set-up, the striker position has always caused problems for The Blues in the Premier League era.
This is especially egregious with the amount spent on strikers who failed to make the position their own. Big money signings like Andrey Shevchenko, Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku in his first stint with the club, Michy Batshuayi and Alvaro Morata embody this sentiment.
A title charge next season could depend on a competent, goal-scoring striker. If the form of Lukaku or Werner doesn’t pick up, Chelsea could turn to the academy. Especially with loanee, Armando Broja tearing it up with Southampton, the Albanian scoring six and assisting one so far this season.