A late arrival to the Germany squad this week after being afforded some extra time to rest by Joachim Low, the head coach, Timo Werner has been looking ahead to his return to Leipzig and reflecting on his early learnings in the Premier League.
Low’s men are in the Saxony city, a place Werner knows well having spent four years there with RB Leipzig, ahead of this evening’s UEFA Nations League tie against Ukraine. The Germans are second in a tight group, level on six points with the side managed by former Blues striker Andriy Shevchenko and one point adrift of Spain.
Werner missed the midweek win against Czech Republic, in which Toni Rudiger featured throughout, but has since linked up with the squad and should start against Ukraine, according to Low. The 24-year-old is looking forward to being back in Leipzig and eager to get back to winning ways in the group after only one victory to date.
‘I’ve really been looking forward to coming back here,’ he said. ‘It felt a little like I was coming home after being on holiday. I always like returning to Leipzig so international games here are always twice as special for me.
‘The Nations League was introduced so that you have competitive games against other very good teams. It’s a good test, especially ahead of the Euros.
‘When you’re taking part in a competition, you always want to win and finish first in the group, qualify for the final four and then win that as well. That is the kind of success that brings a team together and helps it to improve.’
Werner has made an impressive start to life in England, scoring eight goals in his first 12 games for Chelsea, and believes he is adapting quickly to the rigours of the Premier League.
‘Teams use long balls more often in England but obviously you get stronger when you’re playing against strong opponents,’ he explained. ‘You see space differently and that helps in the national side too.
‘It does differ as the coaches have different ideas of how to play football but I’ve definitely got more used to the physicality.’