For the better part of three years, Bayern Munich was linked to one of the most dynamic and efficient scorers in the Bundesliga in RB Leipzig forward and Germany international star Timo Werner. Werner’s high production rate, incredible pace, and ability to create havoc with opposing defenders made him one of the most sought-after players in the Bundesliga. For Bayern, though, the timing was never right.
Werner’s breakout performance in the 2017 Confederations Cup opened the eyes of many as to what he was capable of on the pitch. Most observers concluded that it would be a just a matter of time before the German-born striker took the reigns at the center of Bayern Munich’s attack for the next decade.
The timing, however, just did not workout for the now 24-year-old. For a reported price of €59 million, Chelsea has secured a player many expect to be a key player in Germany’s international hopes for the next two World Cup cycles.
For Bayern Munich, it likely was not entirely a case of budget management in opting to let Werner leave Germany, but more of a case of bad timing. Werner was ready to leave Leipzig for greener pastures (at least in terms of cash), but the Bavarians were not yet prepared to open up a roster spot.
With Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller each having standout performances this season — and looking like they’ve each got at least two more top-notch seasons left in their respective tanks — Bayern Munich have both players wrapped up through the 2023 season. If the legendary duo holds its current form, the Bavarian attack just did not afford the room to add a player that many consider one of the top-five strikers in the world.
After years of calling for #TimoTime, I concede the clock has run out on Werner’s patience for a move to Säbener Strasse.
Sure, there are other reasons aside of the current Bayern Munich roster logjam as to why Werner made the move to Chelsea. Manager Hansi Flick allegedly made it clear that he wanted Werner as part of his strategic vision for the future, but sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic had a different opinion on what Bayern’s front line of the future should look like.
Werner’s production has never been an issue, but not everyone at Bayern Munich was sold on his “quality.” It is safe to assume that one of the conditions for Flick signing a permanent deal with Bayern Munich was to reach a compromise with Salihamidzic on the club’s strategic direction. With Bayern Munich closely linked to Werner, Manchester City’s Leroy Sané, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, it will be interesting to see if that compromise includes a serious pursuit of Havertz, who — like Werner — Flick purportedly preferred over Sané.
There are some segments of greater soccer fandom and even some pundits who believe that Werner could have also floated out wide to play on the wing at Bayern, thus offering him four positions to find playing time in Bavaria. COVID-19’s effect on the global economy and Bayern Munich’s “white whale” pursuit of Sané, however, severely limited Bayern Munich’s ability to make what would be categorized as a “luxury purchase” during these “unprecedented times.”
In the end, the clock never struck #TimoTime in Bavaria and the #TimoTrain abruptly changed tracks, but Werner’s story is just beginning. At Chelsea, the spotlight will be shining brightly on the speedster. He will either meet the challenge head-on and make Bayern Munich regret its choice...or he’ll wilt under the scrutiny that comes with the status of an offensive savior for a Blues’ side that is desperately in needs of a real star.
To everyone at @ChelseaFC :— Timo Werner (@TimoWerner) June 18, 2020
I’m incredibly happy to be joining the Blues next season! It feels like the right step for me and I am delighted to become a part of Chelsea FC. Really looking forward to playing for such a fantastic and historic club!
See you soon Chelsea fans! pic.twitter.com/WLcagJCHWt
In the end, there could still be a future opportunity for #TimoTime in Bavaria. Werner’s new deal with Chelsea reportedly expires in 2025, but Werner’s performance over the next few seasons will assuredly be the key to whether or not that move to Bayern Munich finally happens. Maybe it’s just a delay on his arrival or maybe the train will never hit the station in Bavaria, but either way Werner is going to get his chance to show the world his talent.
Whatever happens from here, he’s clearly the conductor of the locomotive and navigating his own way on the next stage of his journey.