Timo Werner scored 78 goals in 127 Bundesliga matches for RB Leipzig over four years, but the perception of the German top division is that it is a somewhat more open league than the Premier League and its collections of big burly deep-sitting English-types. And while some of those differences may be a bit overstated, Turbo Timo wouldn’t be the first to struggle to adapt, especially if robbed of his greatest asset, space to run into — something that even his previous head coach, Julian Nagelsmann alluded to earlier.
Fortunately, Werner seems to be figuring things out pretty quickly. He may not often find himself open like Maximus in the fields of Elysium, but his quickness has won numerous penalties already and he’s scored 4 goals from open play in the 8 league games so far (and 8 goals in 12 games in total in all competitions). And that record would be probably even better if we had taken better advantage of the few times he has been that open with better passes. He may not be an Olivier Giroud bodying up a defender — though he did show great strength to hold off 6’2” Jan Bednarek against Southampton — but whether as a center forward or as an inside-left, he’s been making his impact felt.
As he told a press conference ahead of Germany’s Nations League match against Ukraine (which is later today), these new challenges are making a more complete player.
“Sides use long balls more often in England – it’s a different style of play to the national side. But obviously you get stronger when you’re playing against strong opponents. You see space differently, and that helps in the national side too.
“But it does differ here as the coaches have different ideas of how to play football. I’ve definitely got more used to the physicality and I hope to show that with the national side.”
-Timo Werner; source: DFB
Werner’s national team head coach, Joachim Löw agrees as well, and is likely to give the 24-year-old his fourth start in the five Nations League matches so far.
“I’m happy that Timo has hit the ground running in the Premier League. He has a good reputation, he is well-respected and recognised within the team. He always scores a lot of goals and he barely has any problems adapting.
“He is someone who can remain ice-cool when his speed gets him through on goal. He creates a lot of his own chances and he knows what he has to do to get opportunities.”
-Joachim Löw; source: DFB
Timo already leads the team in goals and in minutes, and he’s only getting started.