Timo Werner: Will Tottenham loan move from RB Leipzig rejuvenate former Chelsea forward?

9 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

Timo Werner in action for Chelsea against West HamTimo Werner left Chelsea in 2022 after struggling to find his best form at the club

Timo Werner is back in the Premier League and will be hoping his return goes better than the last time he was here.

The Tottenham signing, who has joined on loan from RB Leipzig until the end of the season, spent two years at Chelsea from 2020 but did not have the impact he would have hoped for as he scored just 10 goals in 56 league games.

Are Spurs taking a risk? Or was his spell at Stamford Bridge just a case of not being the right fit?

BBC Sport takes a look at what went wrong last time in England, and what the German striker could bring to Ange Postecoglou’s side.

Why did it not work out last time?

When Chelsea paid £45m to bring Werner to the Premier League it was a move that, on paper, made complete sense.

He was a young, mobile forward with an eye for goal, backed up by his impressive tally of 78 goals in 127 appearances at RB Leipzig.

But he was unable to bring such a deadly strike-rate to London.

It was not for the lack of trying. Werner would often get into good positions but struggled to convert a number of big opportunities.

It was also an all-too-familiar sight for Chelsea fans that when Werner did manage to score, it would often be ruled out for offside.

In total, he was caught offside 38 times in his 56 Premier League appearances for the Blues, while statistically he had the biggest underperformance of any attacker, scoring eight fewer goals than he was expected to.

“Timo struggled as a number nine and it was his extreme inconsistency in front of goal that ultimately led to his departure,” Ross Mooring, from Chelsea Fancast, told BBC Sport.

“He was integral in a near Champions League upset at Real Madrid in 2022 – when Chelsea were 2-1 up at the Bernabeu before Thomas Tuchel substituted him – but frequently proved lacking in finishing gilt-edged chances, which was so frustrating given his ability to get into those positions in the first place.

“Unlike many former Chelsea players who have joined Spurs in recent years, I would expect the German to receive a relatively warm welcome on his return to the Bridge. Effort was never his issue.”

Timo Werner1018.26-8.26
Neal Maupay1622.11-6.11
Bryan Mbeumo49.35-5.35
Jay Rodriguez38.07-5.07
Joshua King59.5-4.5
Michail Antonio2024.46-4.46
Sadio Mane2731.3-4.3

There were external factors at play that contributed to Werner’s struggles.

He moved to London during the Coronavirus pandemic, and said he found it difficult to settle in the city during such a time.

Werner also came down with Covid-19 and took time to recover from the virus.

How did his return to Germany go?

Werner returned to RB Leipzig in August 2022 and the move back to familiar surroundings was supposed to reignite his career.

Instead, he suffered an ankle injury which ruled him out of consideration for the World Cup in Qatar.

He recovered from that setback to finish the 2022-23 season with nine goals in 27 Bundesliga appearances, but has struggled for form this campaign and heads to Tottenham on the back of just two goals in eight league games.

The majority of those handful of appearances were also from the bench, with Werner having dropped behind Leipzig’s record signing Lois Openda, Yussuf Poulsen and Benjamin Sesko in the pecking order.

RB Leipzig (1st spell)ChelseaRB Leipzig (2nd spell)
Appearances1598954
Starts1436839
Mins12,5506,0433,203
Goals+assists1294024
Goals952318
Assists34176
Mins per goal97.3151.1133.5
Shot conversion %18.91218.4

What can he bring to Tottenham?

Primarily it would appear to be an additional body in a position where Tottenham are badly struggling for numbers.

The Spurs attack has been heavily depleted by injuries, with the likes of James Maddison and Ivan Perisic out, while captain Son Heung-min is likely to be out of consideration for a month while playing for South Korea at the Asian Cup.

It is clear Spurs boss Postecoglou also believes he can get the best out of Werner, as he has managed with some other players at the club since becoming manager last summer.

“Ange Postecoglou has rejuvenated a number of Spurs players since taking over and his attacking football could suit Werner,” BBC Sport’s Tottenham writer Alex Howell said.

“He is likely to play from the left where Spurs are currently short due to injuries and Son Heung-min being away at the Asian Cup.

“His pace and ability to run in behind defences will suit Tottenham’s playmakers, and if he is to find goalscoring form it will look like a great bit of business in this window.”

An eye on the Euros

Timo Werner alongside Julian Nagelsmann at RB LeipzigTimo Werner was coached by current Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann during his first spell at RB Leipzig

Werner said that during his last spell in England he lacked confidence, but with the European Championship in his home country this summer he will have motivation to perform at his best during this loan spell.

The striker has been capped 57 times by Germany but last played for them in March last year.

He has strong competition in his favoured position from the likes of Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Kai Havertz, but Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann was in charge at Leipzig during Werner’s first spell there.

The timing, destination and motivation all appear to be right for this move to end up being a success.

It is now down to Werner to ensure that ends up being the case.

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