TIMO WERNER has ruled out Chelsea winning the Premier League title this season – despite spending £210million on new players.
Chelsea’s £48million new-boy lines up alongside £70m Kai Havertz, while Blues also signed £50m Ben Chilwell and £36m Hakim Ziyech as they face champions Liverpool at Stamford Bridge today.
Blues boss Frank Lampard has also snapped up Brazil centre-half Thiago Silva on a free but mega wages.
Lamps is also chasing £25m Rennes keeper Eduardo Mendy and is continually linked with a £45m move for West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Werner, who scored 36 goals last season for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, thinks Blues are “a project” and does not think they can mount a serious title challenge this term.
Those words will not please owner Roman Abramovich, who expects a serious title charge having spent so much money.
Werner, 24, told German newspaper Bild: “We have to be honest with ourselves and say that we probably won’t win the Premier League or the Champions League this season.
“If it works anyway, all the nicer. But that’s not what the club expects.
“I like to compare that to Liverpool a few years ago. In the first year, the team didn’t win a title either.
“In the second year they were in the Champions League final, in the third they won it and in the fourth, the title in the Premier League followed.
“With our Chelsea project, too, we want to develop step by step so that we have greater chances for the title after each season.”
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wanted his fellow German but Anfield bean-counters did not want to pay the £48m.
Werner said: “I had to make the best decision for myself. At Chelsea, I saw that I can play straight away and be a regular. With this project, I can grow.
“This is an opportunity that Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah may have seen four or three years ago at Liverpool FC.
“They too went there to develop so that they could win the Premier League and the Champions League.
“That’s where I was now, and of course, I would like to see that development.
“My goal is to get to the level of such players. And I see an opportunity at Chelsea. I’m 24 years old, so I have to play.
“At Leipzig, I was also a bit spoiled in this regard, as I never had to miss a game when I was physically able to play. You get a taste that you don’t want to miss anymore.
“I think it says enough that Jurgen Klopp is currently one of the most successful coaches in the world. Of course, if he wants you for his team, you will start pondering.
“In the past few months, I have also thought about a few other interested clubs.
“In the end, I decided to go to Chelsea with full conviction because I think it’s the best move for me.
“I can say I haven’t regretted it so far and I certainly won’t in the future.”
At Stamford Bridge today, the Blues face a Liverpool machine containing frontman Salah and Mane who hit 45 goals between them last season.
And Egyptian Salah struck a hat-trick last week in the opener against Leeds as Klopp’s men got off to a flyer.
But Werner is already eyeing the Golden Boot this term despite knowing he would have struggled for game time had he moved to Anfield.
He said: “It would be a lie to say with regard to such top players that it would have been easy to get past them directly.
“It’s not like I got there and could have said: ‘Hello, I’m Timo, and from now on I always play here!’
“I would have had to prove myself over a longer period of time, in which I initially might have been behind at first.”