WHO: Timo Werner
FROM WHERE: RB Leipzig
TO WHERE: Chelsea
FOR HOW MUCH: £54m ($68.3m)
GRADE FOR CHELSEA: A+
GRADE FOR RB LEIPZIG: B-
The Blues were interested & ended up being the only party who went through with it, striking a swift deal while competitors kept pondering. Frank Lampard’s side gets a ruthless goal-scorer who should get them more than 25 goals a season and unlock the potential of their young, sparky attack.
WHO IS HE?
Werner is among the best German players in the world, and only second to the best striker in the world Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga. He is a German International who has won 29 caps for his nation.
He has excelled at RB Leipzig, scoring 92 goals in 155 appearances. Werner has also played for VFL Stuttgart & is the youngest ever player to score a brace in Bundesliga history.
IS THE PRICE FAIR?
In the current transfer market, even £54m ($68.3m) is a LOT OF MONEY! But that was his release clause & Chelsea didn’t hesitate to pay up. Considering that Werner is a proven elite goal-scorer guaranteed to get better, this is a gamble worth taking.
With talented young players around him, he should relish the opportunity to take the Premier League by storm & be a great long-term investment for the Blues.
WHAT IMPACT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
After Diego Costa’s departure a few years ago, Chelsea have struggled to get the striker who can bully defenders & scrape his way into scoring goals. They still haven’t managed a long-term replacement for Didier Drogba. Werner is that modern-day prolific striker they’ve been so desperate for.
The German is not quite old-school who stays in his position demanding chances. He loves to roam around the final third, tracks back in defence & creates chances for his teammates as well as himself. He’s used his pace & ability to race past opponents to torment Bundesliga defenders and maintain an impressive consistency for Leipzig.
Werner gave a glimpse of his ability against Tottenham Hotspur, whom he exhausted in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg encounter & got the winner as well. With his high energy levels, predatorial instincts to settle into the prime scoring areas, he can be a tough player to keep a lid on.
Perhaps the biggest asset about him is he knows how to link-up with his teammates to make it easier to assist his cause. He often drifts to the wings to drag defenders out of positions & allows his attack-minded midfielders to get into prime scoring areas. For the likes of Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi & Mason Mount, this can be a real blessing.
But what makes Werner excellent is his own eye for goal. He isn’t the strongest, but has the tendency to bulldoze past an entire defence to get his goals. His finishing ability from close range is superb, as he rarely misses when handed opportunities on the plate. Werner is a complete forward not dependent on others to shine.
He’s averaged 3.8 shots, 1.8 dribbles completed & 1.5 key passes per game (stats via WhoScored) in the Bundesliga which prove how dynamic his attacking senses are. He’s also extremely proactive & seeks the ball often, something few strikers do these days. Lampard’s long-term aim is to make Chelsea a refined unit with pacy youngsters to burst forward in numbers.
The German is one to create intuitive chemistry, play intricate one-two passes to encourage his teammates forward. He can help improve their overall style and tempo, making them better to watch & be more clinical as well. That being said, Werner tends to get drained out on occasions because of how hard he works in matches.
He also has a condition which makes him nervous in loud environments, something that can work against him in certain English stadiums. But the biggest plus-point on Werner is he’s nearing his peak years.
He’s going to transform into an elite centre-forward very soon & Chelsea will be able to reap their rewards once he does. Considering the constant improvement he’s shown at Leipzig, the German could become the next big nightmare for Premier League defenders.
Chelsea have really pulled a rabbit out of their hat with his. They now have a brilliant goal-scorer who is on course to become among Europe’s best strikers in the next few years. Werner will evolve their attacking bite, win them matches & get the best out of the rest. Rest assured, they won’t have to be worried about not scoring enough in seasons to come.
RB Leipzig (B-)
It’s not like Leipzig could do much to stop Werner from fulfilling his ‘dream’ of playing in the Premier League. They got some solid money from it & can buy a replacement for him and then some with it. However, Werner’s loss will definitely create a hole in their team for the foreseeable future.