One 2 Watch – Timo Werner

by Matthew Buck

Timo Werner17 | Striker/Winger | VfB Stuttgart | German

24 goals, six assists, 23 games.  Given, those stats are from when he played in the U19 Bundesliga but the young VfB Stuttgart star has carried this form into the Bundesliga itself with four goals and four assists in just 15 games, impressive right?

At just 17, Timo Werner is already being compared to the likes of FC Bayern’s Thomas Muller and Fiorentina’s Mario Gomez comparisons many young players could only dream of.

Werners statistics may start in the Bundesliga but they certainly don’t end there, his German international career is just as impressive; 23 goals in 31 games. With his first appearance coming against Poland at just 14 in which he scored a hat trick in a 5-1 victory. He has been receiving attention from the big clubs, with Manchester United rumoured to have been interested in the teenager along with Chelsea supposedly wanting to play the youngster in the striker role where they are definitely struggling. The young German would undoubtedly contribute something to any team he played in.

This brings me onto another point, what position suits him best? He can play as either a striker or a winger, possessing all of the capabilities to be successful in both and with time on his side Werner can be moulded into the perfect attacking threat. An interesting point to consider is that he started his career under the manager Bruno Labbadia who played him as a striker. He did well here, but when Schneider took over Stuttgart in August 2013 he decided to play Werner out wide which proved to be a big turning point in his career as he assisted two goals in his first game on the left and played extremely well in a 6-2 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

I have researched into this game and found some statistics to show you how impressive he was on that day. He covered the second furthest distance in the Stuttgart side (11.37km) just behind Ibišević who finished first (11.59km). He completed the most sprints out of anyone on the pitch with 39 obliterating everyone else, the closest to him was Sakai on 28. In addition, he also completed the most crosses (three) and misplaced the least amount of passes out of the starting XI with just six. This is usually a figure that is high in young players as they are less composed and confident on the ball, but not Werner, this kid is special. Joachim Löw the German international manager was overheard saying after the game ‘That was outstanding’. With praise like this it is important that Timo keeps his feet on the ground and stays level-headed.

He also won the Fritz Walter medal in 2013 a series of annual awards given to the best young footballers in Germany with names such as Mario Götze, Toni Kroos and Julian Draxler all winning in the past, it’s safe to say the award is held in high prestige and it’s a testament to the Stuttgart man’s ability. However, sometimes I think you just need to watch someone play to understand their class, as many things in football are intangible so I have included a video at the bottom for you to take a look at. I urge you to look closely at his pace, technique on the ball and strength remembering all this is at just 17 years of age.

Staying at VfB in the coming seasons though will be key for ‘Turbo Werner’ as the press have dubbed him, as it’s important for the youngster to be able to express himself and find his feet as a player. Taking into consideration Stuttgart’s ability to develop and nurture players it would seem Werner has the perfect basis for future success. You only have to look as far as Mario Gomez or Sami Khedira to see that this club produces real talent and with Borussia Dortmund trusting them with Moritz Leitner on loan you know they are the perfect club for a player of Werner’s aptitude.

In football though we know that things can change in a second, but it’s part of the reason we love the game and so for all of the statistics, hype and praise around a player you never can fully know if they will be the next world beater. But every once in a while we get those gems that drop through the net who go on to light up the world stage, set new benchmarks and push the boundaries further. Werner will be one of those players I guarantee it.

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