It is July 2020 and Timo Werner has transferred from RB Leipzig to Chelsea for a reported €53m. The then 24-year-old had just scored 34 goals and collected a further 13 assists in just 45 games for Die Roten Bullen, establishing himself as Germany’s – and Europe’s – most lethal marksman.
However, fast-forward three years and Werner is back in Saxony, but is only considered to be the club’s fourth choice striker behind Loïs Openda, Benjamin Šeško and Yussuf Poulsen. The 27-year-old has also now lost his place in Germany’s starting eleven, with Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl claiming that “Timo is in crisis!” So, what has happened?
A difficult spell in London, where the Premier League did not suit Werner’s style of play, had clearly knocked all confidence the striker once had in front of goal. But Werner has not looked to help himself since returning to the Bundesliga.
Bild have reported that the striker lacked all interest and seriousness in a recent training session which is typical of Werner, who has rarely shown signs of commitment throughout his career. However, now the goals are not free flowing, rather than make an effort to change that, Werner’s carefree attitude has continued.
Nevertheless, it is obvious that there is a star player still lurking within Werner and he has to alter his mentality to find the fire once again. If Marco Rose can help install belief back into his uninspired striker, then perhaps one day Werner will become the feared marksman he once was.
GGFN | Will Shopland