Chelsea announced back in June that they had secured the signing of RB Leipzig’s forward, Timo Werner, in a 5 year deal, after triggering his £47.5Million release clause. The German International then played his last game for the Bundesliga side in late June, before officially moving to the Blues at the beginning of July. A big transfer and big name player is exciting news for both Chelsea fans and fantasy football managers — let’s explore the potential of this exciting forward.
Who is Timo Werner?
At 24 years of age, Timo Werner has been one of the most promising young forwards in Europe over the last few years. After 3 seasons at VfB Stuttgart, he moved to RB Leipzig where he caught the eye of many in the 2016-17 season, registering an impressive 21 goals in his debut season for the Bundesliga side. A call-up to the German National team in 2017 then followed, where has featured ever since, notably being awarded the Golden Boot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, with 3 goals (also registering 2 assists). He is known for his pace, finishing and link-up play. He is adept at playing anywhere across the front, but generally occupies the center or left-forward position.
The 2019-20 Bundesliga season was by far Werner’s best, and the stats really showcase this. He registered 28 goals (converting all 3 penalty chances) and 8 assists in 34 appearances, boasting an impressive 0.90 Goal and 1.16 Goal+Assist Ratio per 90 minutes. Domestically, Werner has scored over a 1⁄3 of Leipzig’s goals this season and has been directly involved in 44% of all their goals. Since the restart, he registered 7 goals and 1 assist in 9 appearances, help Leipzig to a 3rd place finish. He also registered 3 hat-tricks in the season, showing how explosive he can be. With regards to European Competitions, Werner has scored a solid 11 goals in 22 Champions League appearances.
How will he fit in at Chelsea?
Chelsea operate either a 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 formation, which suits Werner’s style of play as he can generally occupy any of the 3 forward positions as demonstrated during his time at Leipzig. Werner usually occupies the center-forward position, and also occupies a left wing/left attacking forward position/2nd striker.
In terms of competition, the recently-resurgent Olivier Giroud is contracted to be with the Blues till the end of the 2020-21 season. The French striker will of course be obvious competition for Werner; however at the age of 33 he may now be reduced to a bit-part role as he was earlier in the 2019-20 season. Tammy Abraham is the other obvious competition, who started last season well, but was reduced to mostly cameo appearances since the restart.
In addition to Werner, Chelsea have added other another attacking player in winger Hakim Ziyech, and they’re looking to add Bayer Leverkusen’s attacking winger, Kai Havertz to their ranks. This is follows the recent departures of both Pedro and Willian. With Werner’s positional flexibility as both a goalscorer and creator, and Chelsea opting to play with 3 forwards, the German should get a good amount of game time, and he could play alongside (or between) Giroud, Pulisic and/or Ziyech.
The 2020-21 fantasy leagues haven’t opened yet, so we are still waiting to see how Timo Werner will be priced in FPL, a pivotal consideration for fantasy managers. Based on the season just gone, it would be fair to guess that Werner will be Chelsea’s highest priced forward, with Giroud & Abraham both having started last season at £7.0Mil. Conservatively, I expect Werner to be priced nearer the premium options (potentially around 9-10 Mil). However, it’s worth keeping an eye on him and his ownership. There is always a slight risk with players who are new to the EPL, as it’s hard to guess how well and quickly they will adapt to the English game. However, Werner is a flexible and already proven player with the right ability and attitude to succeed at his new club.
In Fantrax, where he’ll enter the game at default pricing and benefit from that platform’s more diverse scoring system (and possibly crash to the min-price if his first appearance is uneventful), he promises to be a much better value, at least in the beginning, before the adjustments begin adding up.
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy might be a good comparison with “Turbo Timo”, who was clocked at 11.1 seconds for the 100M dash (Ronaldo posted a 10.9). They’re both pacy strikers who rank first and second in goals scored off the counterattack across all of Europe’s top five leagues (Werner with five and Vardy with four).
The German scored 28 goals in 34 appearances last season, vs 23 in 35 for Vardy. Based on relative playing time, their strike rates work out to a goal every 100 minutes for Timo, and every 132 minutes for the EPL’s Golden Boot winner. Timo had 63 shots on target to Vardy’s 42 — that’s a difference of 63 Fantrax points on that statistic alone. He was also fouled at a rate three times higher than Vardy, and those count for a point apiece.
Extrapolating these statistics into Fantrax (which comes at great risk for a variety of reasons), Timo would have placed ahead of Mo Salah and rivaled Kevin De Bruyne for the most productive asset in all of Fantrax. That would place his true Fantrax market value in the $20+ range.
Again, this is assuming he can replicate his Bundesliga numbers in the EPL, which is anything but a given. As his fellow countryman and new teammate Antonio Rüdiger says, “I hope he adapts very quickly when he comes because as we all know this competition is different than others.” (thechelseachronicle.com)
The schedule will also play a part in Werner’s initial appeal. If the price is right and the first five fixtures are favorable, then he could be well worth a punt.
Werner hasn’t played competitive football since signing off from Bundesliga with a brace against FC Augsburg back in late June, so it may take him some time to get up to speed with the English game. He’s definitely one to put on your radar though.
stats used from fbref.com, transfermarkt.com, and whoscored.com
How do you think Timo Werner will perform in his debut EPL season? Will he take some time to adjust or will he hit the ground running? Will you be backing him? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!