In a terrible blow of luck for RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, the speedy 26-year-old suffered an ankle injury against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League that will keep him out of action for the entirety of the World Cup.
Werner figured to play a key role under Hansi Flick, who had extracted good production from the much-maligned attacker:
ℹ️ Timo Werner suffered an ankle injury last night in the win over Shakhtar Donetsk.— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) November 3, 2022
Scans today in Leipzig showed that he has unfortunately torn the syndesmosis ligament in his left ankle and will therefore be out for the rest of 2022. pic.twitter.com/tLLAfxb2op
Werner was likely headed to a role in Flick’s starting XI, which will now need to be adjusted. Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller could slide into that role, which would allow Jamal Musiala to play as an attacking midfielder or Flick could opt for other options atop his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation like Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz, Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry, Wolfsburg’s Lukas Nmecha, Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug, or one of the Borussia Dortmund duo of Karim Adeyemi or Youssoufa Moukoko.
Flick could also flip the switch and change his formation, which would create some discussion among Germany fans for sure. A 4-3-3 or a 3-4-2-1 with the expected roster could work as well.
Personally — and as much as it might pain some Bayern Munich fans — I’d start Müller at the No. 9, flank him with Leroy Sané and Gnabry, and have Musiala lining up at the No. 10. This would likely give Germany the advantage of familiarity among the attacking group and definitely provide a comfort level in the players working together. Not to mention that quartet would be backed up by midfielders Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka.
This would allow Flick the flexibility to have Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus and Havertz as attacking options to mix things up off the bench as well.