Timo Werner has lived a curious life at Chelsea.
From an outsider looking in, his first 12 months as a Blue have looked pretty prosperous.
56 appearances, 12 goals, 15 assists, a Champions League and Super Cup medal.
Not bad for a debut-and-a-bit campaign, right?
From those well connected to the club, their opinion will certainly differ.
They’ve witnessed horrendous misses, endured poor decision-making, and suffered several stretches of goal-less games.
Try as they might to accept Werner’s persistence, it’s understandable if some of their patience has started to wear thin.
Signing Romelu Lukaku put an end to these worries, shoving them to the back of the wardrobe for a rainy day.
But along with crumpled shirts and forgotten Christmas presents, Chelsea supporters inadvertently stuffed a small German in with the other loose objects.
Or rather, Thomas Tuchel has.
Werner hasn’t started any of the past three matches, accumulating just nine minutes in that time.
In light of the 25-year-old’s absence, reports have resurfaced about a possible return to the Bundesliga.
Sport Bild claims Borussia Dortmund have identified the centre-forward as a possible replacement for Erling Haaland, should he leave in the summer.
Sport1 suggests Werner could be heading in the direction of Bayern Munich if Robert Lewandowski leaves his post.
Understandably, revisiting the league where he was plucked from has its positives.
Fond recollections of topping the scoring charts with RB Leipzig would certainly come flooding back.
Home comforts could also play a factor, especially after the trials and tribulations of relocating during a pandemic.
If Werner was to depart, little more than a year after joining Chelsea, memories of Alvaro Morata may come to the forefront.
There’s one obvious comparison between the two.
Both showed signs of struggle during their stint in a blue shirt.
Morata is largely bookmarked as one of the Blues’ most disappointing recruitments, regularly bombarded by fans and pundits alike for his failure in the final third.
He arrived for more money than Werner – £60m (BBC) compared with £45m (Sky Sports) – meaning the Spaniard’s malfunctions made even more headlines.
After two straining seasons, Morata signed for Atletico Madrid on loan before penning a permanent deal in 2020.
His performances picked up almost instantly. He netted 16 times ahead of a loan switch to Juventus.
Evidently, revisiting one’s homeland or former league is an enticing and often beneficial career choice.
Davide Zappacosta to Atalanta or Diego Costa to Atletico. The list goes on.
Could Werner really walk down the same path? History suggests he might.