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World Cup One To Watch: Germany’s 22-year-old striker Timo Werner

Timo Werner
Photo: Getty Images


World Cup One To Watch: Germany’s 22-year-old striker Timo Werner

The Germany international will be a player to keep an eye out for in Russia.

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner is Germany’s first-choice striker going into the 2018 FIFA World Cup and one of the most coveted young forwards in Europe.

The 22-year-old has been tasked with the responsibility of leading the line for the tournament holders in Russia after netting 13 times and providing eight assists in 32 Bundesliga outings this season.

Should he approach the summer in the same manner as the rest of his career to date, he could really stamp his authority on the World Cup.

To see who else features in The Boot Room’s World Cup Ones to Watch series, click here.

Who is he?

After becoming the youngest player ever to feature for VfB Stuttgart’s first team, Werner completed a €10 million move to RB Leipzig on the back of the club’s maiden promotion to the Bundesliga.

In his debut season for the Saxony-based side, in which he scored an impressive 21 goals in 31 appearances, he would go on to become the youngest ever to reach 100 and 150 Bundesliga games.

While he was considered a talent at Stuttgart, his prowess has seen him reach new heights with his current club. Playing among a creative cast at Leipzig, featuring Liverpool-bound Naby Keita and Emil Forsberg among others, Werner has excelled.

After a runners-up finish last term, his goals this season have helped Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men to maintain their challenge for a second successive top-four finish in the Bundesliga, all the while hunting for glory in the Europa League.

(Photo by Robert Michael/Getty Images)

What is his international experience/record?

Werner has played for the German youth national teams throughout his career thus far, scoring 34 goals in 48 matches between Under-15 and Under-21 level.

At the age of 21, he would make his debut for Joachim Löw’s senior side, starting alongside Lukas Podolski in a 1-0 victory over England in Dortmund. He had little luck on that occasion, but he has since shown his ability to grow into the role.

Proving himself more than capable of reproducing his club form on the international stage, Werner collected the Golden Boot as the Germans followed their World Cup triumph with success at last summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup.

To date, the Leipzig youngster has accrued eight goals in 14 games for his country – a total that will surely increase with his involvement in Russia.


Why will he be a breakout World Cup star?

“If Timo Werner stays fit, I believe he will be the top scorer of the World Cup”, former Germany international Mario Basler said of the 22-year-old, back in 2017.

Die Mannschaft will go into the summer’s showpiece as favourites to retain their world crown and, with Werner leading the line, they will be a fearsome prospect for any opposition.

Despite his young years, the Leipzig forward already possesses a wealth of experience and has deservedly established himself as Germany’s first choice front-man.

Considering his record at club level, one just has to consider the damage he could do with the likes of Leroy Sane, Mesut Özil, Thomas Muller Toni Kroos in support.

A lethal finisher, Werner has developed into one of the greatest talents in his home country and will relish the prospect of leading Löw’s side to a second successive World Cup success.

Himself, a firm believer that Germany are favourites for the upcoming tournament, the Leipzig striker is sending all the right messages suggesting he is ready to hit the ground running.

(Photo by Miguel Medina/Getty Images)

What is his future after the World Cup?

While most ardent footballer advocates will instantly recognise his name, this summer could be moment Werner experiences a meteoric rise on the global stage.

Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has already expressed just how difficult it would be to replace a player like the 22-year-old, which means he would come at some price.

Werner has been heavily linked with moves to England or Spain, with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool among the teams reportedly interested in his services.

In an interview with FourFourTwo, earlier in March of this year, he explained that of the two aforementioned Premier League clubs, Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils would be his preferred choice.

Nonetheless, Werner remains adamant that a summer switch is not part of his plans and, with his current contract running through to 2020, his future seemingly lies with Leipzig.

To see who else features in The Boot Room’s World Cup Ones to Watch series, click here.

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