Bundesliga

Timo Werner Will Be The One to Watch at World Cup 2018

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner is a known commodity in the Bundesliga, and one of the primary reasons that Die Roten Bullen is as dangerous an offensive threat as there is in the German league. With that talent, however, comes the inevitable desire for an enhanced position in the spotlight of global soccer.

While many fans may recognize his name, this summer could be when the former VfB Stuttgart man experiences a meteoric rise in popularity; and not just among spectators. Glamour clubs from the Big 5 leagues, who are always looking to invest in the next big thing, may also set their sights on the explosive 21-year old.

Premier League clubs in the running to sign Werner

In the past week alone, Werner is rumoured to have rejected a contract extension, which would put him in prime position for some major clubs to enter a bidding war. Thus far, Werner has been said to be coveted by goal-challenged Athletico Madrid, along with Premier League powers Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United. In addition, it would be hard to imagine that Bayern Munich would not throw its red hat in the ring for a dynamic talent, who is considered Germany’s next great striker.

In Leipzig’s recent Europa League 3-1 win over Napoli, Werner was outstanding and, per WhoScored.com, racked up the following statistics:

  • Player Rating 8.81
  • Goals 2
  • Shots 7
  • Key Passes 2
  • Times Fouled 2
  • Dribbles 1

Overall, Werner has 16 goals in 29 appearances so far this season for Leipzig, which as a team, was inconsistent in the first half of the season. Die Roten Bullen, however, has picked up its play of late – just in time for Werner to build some momentum heading into the Bundesliga stretch and this summer’s World Cup.

Leipzig should examine their long-term goals

With any success, the chances of retaining Werner seem to disappear, and with that, Leipzig may need to examine what is best for the club in the long term. In an interview with Sport1, Werner appeared to leave open the possibility of returning to Leipzig, but was also very coy about discussing his future:

SPORT1: Your sports director Ralf Rangnick said on Monday, it was agreed with you that they also deny the next season for Leipzig. How do you see your personal future?

Werner: For me, the next season does not count. There is still so much going on in that time. I still have so much to do with RB. We want to reach the Champions League again. After that, I hope for another World Cup, which I would like to contest well. And then I think about how it goes on. So far, I feel really comfortable here in Leipzig. The fans like me and I like them.

SPORT1: But is it correct that this agreement exists?

Werner: What does agreement mean? A contract is enough. It says that I have to play for another two years, I want to, I can. That’s why there are no other thoughts for me so far.

SPORT1: Do you have the dream to play for a certain team at some point?

Werner: There are enough teams in the world where you would like to play. If one takes Germany, it would be a lie to say that one would not even like to play in Bavaria. It would also be a lie to say that in England you would not like to play for Manchester United or Manchester City. Spain, Barca, Real – there are great clubs in every league. Italy and France would not be my leagues now, but rather the three mentioned. There are so many teams where you want to play. I would not commit myself now. I’ll see what happens.

Leipzig to accept $54M for Werner?

If Werner has the type of World Cup I think he will, then Leipzig may be wise to accept an offer in the upcoming pre-season transfer window. Transfermarkt has Werner valued at $54M, which could be a bargain for a major club and also a boon to the budget of the financially inconsistent RB Leipzig.

Financial implications aside, Werner’s threat in front of goal is the main reason his stock is soaring. What makes him so effective is his blazing pace, ability to find space, and the creativity with his runs. He may not have the strength of a Robert Lewandowski, or the multi-faceted guile of Harry Kane, but he has undeniable talent nonetheless.

When coupled with playmakers around him, like Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg, Werner becomes even more potent. Just imagine, then, the damage Werner can do on the World Cup stage with the likes of Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Leroy Sane, and Joshua Kimmich be his side.

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