Timo Werner explains how he is dealing with the pressure of life as a big-name new signing at a top Premier League club.
With the global appeal of the Premier League and the huge audiences our matches attract, new arrivals to these shores must adapt to a new country, style of play and team with the knowledge that every touch will be scrutinised under the microscope of worldwide media attention.
For a high-profile new striker like Werner, the spotlight can be especially intense, with many people focusing solely on his price tag and expecting instant results. However, the German insists it is something he has become used to and he is more concerned about performing well for his manager and team-mates at Chelsea.
‘It does matter how much you cost,’ he said. ‘It’s always a bit of pressure when you come to a new club and you want to score by your own but now you also want to score for your new team-mates, for your club.
‘You have to score and the pressure you have in every new club, but I think I can handle it very well because I got the same pressure at my old club and everybody wanted me to score. It’s not something new to me but now it’s a new ground from where I’ve been so its new people and new players around me.
‘So the pressure is a little bit higher than the last years but I think good footballers are the best under pressure and that’s my plan, I can do very well under pressure.’
However, as much as our number 11 embraces the weight of expectation on him as a new striker at a big club like Chelsea, he admits he is still settling in England and getting used to the physical and fast-paced nature of the Premier League after arriving from the Bundesliga.
‘The Premier League is a little bit different to my old league that I used to play in. I have to say it’s tougher than I thought. The contact here is harder than in Germany, it’s what I expected but not like this.
‘I think it’s also hard when you play every three days and the Champions League and internationals and you have to play on Saturday against teams that can rest the whole week and think only about the game against you. It makes it not easy to be the best in every game but the Premier League is very fun to play in.
‘The beginning was very good, now a little bit after a lot of games I don’t know if its normal but I’m struggling a little bit. There are lot of games at the moment and I think there’s some chances that I’ve missed two or three weeks ago that were not the best thing, but I think when you are new to a country and league it’s always a little bit hard to adapt and it should be no excuse. I should try to do my best to be the best footballer that I can be in this league and I think I’ll adapt well.’
Of course, one thing he can count on as he continues to adapt to life in the Premier League is the support of his team-mates. Fellow German international Toni Rudiger has been a particularly big help to Werner so far, not just in football but off the pitch too.
‘I think it’s always very important when you come into a new country and you have someone in your club who can speak your language. It makes it much easier to have a guy who can speak German in the club who can help you, not just in the club but also when you have to pay bills or for the gas or electrics or something like that. He helped me a lot in these things and for me it was perfect that he was here. ‘