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Timo Werner: Why RB Leipzig ace is being linked with a transfer to Europe's biggest clubs
Tottenham host RB Leipzig in Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday; follow the action with Sky Sports News, skysports.com and the Sky Sports app
Last Updated: 19/02/20 6:50pm
Timo Werner has lit up the Bundesliga this season and, ahead of RB Leipzig's Champions League tie with Tottenham, Europe's top clubs are reportedly lining up moves for the German superstar.
This season Werner has joined the elite. He has hit 20 goals in 22 Bundesliga matches - and that's despite a recent four-game drought. Only Robert Lewandowski can better that tally in Germany this year.
His dry spell is unlikely to last long - Werner is thriving as the star attacker in Julian Nagelsmann's title-challenging RB Leipzig side and powerhouses have taken note, with the German linked with a host of sides.
Werner appeared close to a switch to Bayern Munich last summer before signing a new deal with Leipzig, but this time round Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are among the Premier League clubs linked with the striker - although Sky Sports News understands Liverpool are not planning to make a move at this stage.
Jose Mourinho is well aware of his talents, too. The Tottenham boss used his winter break to travel to Germany to watch Leipzig draw 0-0 at title rivals Bayern Munich ahead of Spurs and Leipzig's Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday, February 18.
Werner may have missed a good chance to win that contest - he fired wide from Christopher Nkanku's cross - but it was a reminder of his threat and his combination play with the left winger Nkanku, which has led to four Bundesliga goals this season. Only Thomas Muller and Lewandowski have combined for more goals this term.
But Mourinho will have noticed in that contest with Bayern, while Werner fired off a game-high five shots, there is much more to his game. Highly-rated young coach Nagelsmann has adapted Werner's role and Leipzig have reaped the rewards.
"I'm playing almost as an attacking midfielder," Werner said earlier this season, describing how there is now an added onus on him linking Leipzig's attacking play, while also remaining the man to finish things off in the area.
With six assists to go with his 20 goals, Werner is joint top with Lewandowski and Jadon Sancho in the Bundesliga standings for goal involvements.
"Playing in one of the best offensive teams of the Bundesliga sure helps," said Sky Germany reporter Hannes Jakobi. "But Julian Nagelsmann helped him a lot, both developing him as a player and a person.
"Confidence is really important to Werner, he likes being key to a system." He certainly has that prominence at Leipzig now.
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Werner was a teen sensation at Stuttgart, breaking into the first team and smashing records as a 17-year-old goal scorer, but while there was initially criticism for his scoring rate with his hometown club, his switch to Leipzig saw him step up.
Werner has been Leipzig's top scorer for the past four seasons and, after shining at the 2017 Confederations Cup, looks primed to be Germany's lead striker at Euro 2020.
So what will Tottenham's defenders have to guard against when they come up against Werner on Tuesday? "Speed! That's what he is about," said Jakobi.
"He isn't a Ruud van Nistelrooy type of player, he likes to get on the wings, as well and cut inside."
It could become a challenge Spurs' defenders face more regularly in the future. "He definitely would go [to the Premier League]," says Jakobi - but Tuesday's test could underline Werner's rise.
Spurs vs RB Leipzig team news
Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho does not expect Son Heung-min to play again this season.
Mourinho has no out-and-out striker to call on, having declared academy prospect Troy Parrott not ready, meaning options are limited to playing Lucas Moura, Dele Alli or Steven Bergwijn. Erik Lamela will be assessed ahead of the game, but Son joins Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Juan Foyth on the injury list.
RB Leipzig will be without the suspended Dayot Upamecano while Willi Orban and Ibrahima Konate are injured.
Julian Nagelsmann is expected to retain a back-three formation, which could potentially mean Manchester City loanee Angelino featuring at wing-back. Tyler Adams and Kevin Kampl are Leipzig's two other confirmed absentees, so Amadou Haidara could start in midfield.