Timo Werner (r.) has been a beneficiary of Leipzig's slick and successful counter-attacking football. - © imago
Timo Werner (r.) has been a beneficiary of Leipzig's slick and successful counter-attacking football. - © imago
Bundesliga

Timo Werner and a turbo-charged RB Leipzig: the Bundesliga's counter-attacking kings

The name's Timo – Turbo Timo. The alliteration adds effect to what is essentially an accurate assessment of the RB Leipzig forward, who is racing away from the competition, almost literally.

Timo Werner already appears to be in possession of his ticket to the FIFA World Cup this summer, and it would not be a surprise if the 21-year-old arrived in Russia before his teammates, such is his growing ability to be a step ahead.

On Thursday night, his brace in Naples opened Leipzig the door to a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. It was typical Werner: both mind and matter were that split second ahead of any of his rivals, also on the European stage.

- © gettyimages

However, Werner would not be able to boast such statistics if it were not for the team behind him. By comparison, during his Stuttgart days – after becoming their youngest goalscorer of all time in September 2013 – he managed just 13 goals in 95 games, never going into double figures for a season as he has now done in back-to-back years in Leipzig.

He wasted ten out of 14 big chances for Stuttgart in the 2015/16 season, but now needs an average of just four shots to score a goal for Leipzig. It is pretty fair to say that he has found a home where he can flourish, with the assists from Emil Forsberg and a perhaps unfairly unsung star of this Leipzig team, Yussuf Poulsen.

"Yussuf's a great team player, that is his main strength," said Hasenhüttl of Leipzig's great Dane. "He's always got an eye for his teammates."

- © imago