11

Timo Werner

BIOGRAPHY

Timo Werner agreed his move from RB Leipzig to Chelsea in June 2020, joining up with his new team-mates for the 2020/21 season. 

Aged 24 years old when he signed, he had previously enjoyed the most successful years of his career playing as a central striker with Leipzig, using his pace to run in behind defences and craft out chances, and at Chelsea it quickly became evident he is equally as adept deployed in a wide role creating space for others. 

There were ups and downs, but Werner can look back on a promising and productive first season at Chelsea that hinted at plenty more to come from the German in the future, not to mention the first silverware of his club career in the form of the biggest trophy of them all.

2020/21

Despite some harsh criticism from outside, our new forward had a significant impact in the final third of the pitch throughout 2020/21, scoring more goals and providing more assists than any other Chelsea player in all competitions, while only Mason Mount made more appearances. He could also count himself unlucky that those figures weren’t even higher, as his five shots against the woodwork and two goals ruled out by VAR were also the most for the Blues.

On his fourth appearance for Chelsea, he endeared himself to the fans by scoring his first goal for the club against London rivals Tottenham with a sharp turn and finish, and that started an impressive run of eight goals in just nine games, including two braces and starring roles in the big Champions League wins over Krasnodar and Rennes.

His best was saved for the Premier League, though, when he fired us into a two-goal lead against Southampton and then, after the Saints fought back, set-up Kai Havertz for the third in a 3-3 draw.

However, having moved to a new position on the left wing, the goals seemed to dry up for Werner in the early winter months. A slight tweak to Werner’s role in the team after the arrival of fellow German Thomas Tuchel as head coach, operating more centrally and with greater licence to roam, inspired a gradual upturn in form during the second half of the season, even if he didn’t hit the same prolific heights as his early months in west London.

That was demonstrated perfectly when he created both our goals in a 2-1 win over Sheffield United in February, but it was towards the end of the season when he really came into his own, especially when providing a key outlet for counter-attacks over the two legs of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, and scoring to give us the lead in the second game of the tie.

He made his mark domestically in the closing stages as well. The winning goals against Manchester City and Leicester City in the Premier League, which were so important to securing a top-four finish, both came from Werner assists, as did the Hakim Ziyech strike against Man City that booked our place in the FA Cup final.

Pre-Chelsea

Werner's last season in the Bundesliga was the most prolific of his career, scoring 34 goals in 45 games in all competitions, as well as recording 13 assists. That was his fourth campaign in Leipzig, consistently reaching around 20 goals per season, although he was unable to win silverware before coming to England.

Werner and Toni Rudiger had been team-mates at the former’s home-town team Stuttgart, where both players started their professional careers. Werner became the club's youngest-ever player and scorer, the first of many Stuttgart and Bundesliga records he set for his feats at a young age.

He became a key player in their side while a teenager before leaving for newly promoted Leipzig following Stuttgart’s relegation from the Bundesliga. He immediately became crucial to his new team too, during their rapid rise to become one of Germany and Europe’s top sides.

International

His performances for Leipzig during that time led to him becoming a regular in the German national side, and Werner followed up the Confederations Cup victory in 2017, in which he finished as the tournament's top scorer, by travelling to Russia as part of his country’s 2018 World Cup squad. He also featured at the delayed continent-wide Euro 2020.