Chelsea forward Timo Werner has been backed to shine in the FA Cup final against Leicester after getting a rest for the Arsenal defeat.
The German watched from the sidelines at Stamford Bridge as his side suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to their London rivals.
Despite being the joint top-scorer and top assist-maker in his debut season, the forward has been criticised for not providing enough in his performances.
But Smith, who scored 84 goals in more than 200 appearances for the Foxes and missed out on Arsenal’s 1993 FA Cup final win, believes Werner will get his shot at Wembley due to missing the Gunners loss.
Writing in his Evening Standard column, the former forward said: “Demoted to the subs’ bench, the striker must have known he now stood a great chance of facing Leicester in tomorrow’s Wembley showpiece.
“Though it isn’t easy second-guessing Tuchel, I would be very surprised if Werner doesn’t get the nod.
“Sometimes, you become a better player without kicking a ball. Werner’s runs had been missed against Arsenal. Nobody could get behind the visitors’ deep-lying defence.
“Leicester have been a bit susceptible to that lately. Their home game against Newcastle, for instance, saw Callum Wilson cause all sorts of trouble with well-timed sprints.
“Caglar Soyuncu, in particular, just couldn’t cope, getting caught in awkward positions high up the pitch.
“The Foxes, after all, do like to push up in order to squeeze the opposition. While I can’t imagine that changing, manager Brendan Rodgers will have made plans for the threat of Werner, who naturally drifts to the left side.”
Werner recently received criticism from Ian Wright for being “lazy” in his position during the 2-1 win over Manchester City earlier this month.
And Smith gave his thoughts on the issue, adding: “The German striker hasn’t been short of critics in his first season at Chelsea. He’s missed a lot of chances and got caught offside too easily.
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“When pressed recently on the subject, Tuchel admitted that his countryman needed to ‘take a bit more care with his starting position’.
“Werner is so swift he doesn’t need to go early. He can give most defenders a yard and still get there first.
“To be honest, it’s a surprising fault for a 25-year-old with 38 caps for Germany. You would have expected him to have ironed out that crease by now.
“Nevertheless, I’m a big fan of the lad. He’s as honest as they come, a real trier every time.”
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