If there is one person who could be labelled an innocent bystander in the Timo Werner transfer saga, it is RB Leipzig’s new coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Just 32, Nagelsmann enters his first year in East Germany with a boatload of talent and high expectations. Part of the reason that the future looks so bright with Die Roten Bullen is the presence of Werner anchoring one of the top spots in Nagelsmann’s preferred 3-5-2 formation. Should Werner decide to move to Bayern Munich, it would be a severe blow to the high hopes that Leizpig has for this season.
After initially saying he wanted Werner to stay back in May, Nagelsmann has patiently sat on the sidelines allowing the Leipzig front office to do its job. With the season opener drawing closer, however, the innovative coach is now trying to help Werner decide what is best for the player’s future.
I think he could take a lot of pressure off himself if he made a decision soon. That would be in the spirit of Timo Werner himself, in the spirit of the club, and also in the spirit of his coach.
With such a key ingredient to Leipzig’s winning formula unsure if he will remain with the team, Nagelsmann undoubtedly wants closure to what could be a very disruptive situation. When asked whether he still had Werner in his plans for the season, Nagelsmann gave the exact kind of response you would expect:
I evaluate him in terms of sport, and of course I plan with him. He is my player, he has a contract here. Everything else is stories for the sports director, I take care of my tasks as a coach.
For his part, Werner acknowledged the recent discussion with Nagelsmann and said that the coach was not trying to “beat the decision out of him” and that the end goal of the talk was to “relieve (Werner) of pressure, so that (Werner) could also play free in his head.”