Berlin, 25 May 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Timo Werner is becoming a more complete player and is now tougher to defend against, RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said after the forward’s hat-trick in a 5-0 romp at Mainz on Sunday.
It was the 24-year-old Germany forward’s second hat-trick in a row against Mainz, having also netted a treble in an 8-0 home win in November. His 24 goals in the Bundesliga this season are his highest tally, following the 21 he scored in the 2016-17 campaign.
“Timo Werner now feels comfortable not only on the wing but also in the number 10 position. Coupled with his speed, this makes him more dynamic and even harder to mark for his opponents,” Nagelsmann told a news conference after Werner’s third league hat-trick of the season.
Werner has a contract with Leipzig until 2023 but media reports say he can leave for 60 million euros (65.8 million dollars) in the next window.
Bayern Munich were interested in him last year but a deal never materialized, as the German champions turned their focus to Germany winger Leroy Sane of Manchester City.
Premier League leaders Liverpool and Chelsea are among European clubs also said to be after him, and Werner told the Bild newspaper this month that a move abroad was more likely.
Leipzig, who moved back up to third with the thumping win over Mainz, still think they can keep him.
He impressed in the Champions League last-16 win over Tottenham Hotspur as the Red Bulls made the quarters for the first time and they now look well-placed to return to Europe’s top competition next season having got over three draws in a row.
“We played very well from the first minute and kept the pressure on the whole game,” Werner said.
“We wanted to secure the important three points – which helps for Champions League qualification next season,” Werner added, seemingly playing down the chances of a late title charge with leaders Bayern seven points ahead with seven games left.