Timo Werner has finalised his permanent return to RB Leipzig, signing a contract to 2027 after bringing an end to his difficult two-year spell at Chelsea.
The Germany striker moved to Stamford Bridge in summer 2020, the Blues meeting the £47.5m exit clause in his deal. It all started so well for Werner too, with the striker scoring eight times in his first 12 appearances for the club. However, the goals – and his confidence – soon deserted him, and he found himself increasingly on the periphery once Thomas Tuchel took charge.
Despite that, he finished his first season in Chelsea colours winning the Champions League. As such, he will likely deem his time at the club a success.
His form, though, failed to improve either during the 2021/22 season. Indeed, he managed 11 goals in 37 appearances, making just 15 starts in the Premier League.
However, despite those struggles, he appeared destined to stay once Chelsea allowed Romelu Lukaku to return to Inter Milan on loan.
But when the Blues enquired about a deal for Josko Gvardiol, Leipzig hit them with a counter approach for Werner.
To their surprise, Chelsea were open to negotiate, though an initial loan deal was initially discussed.
Now the two clubs have settled on a deal, with Fabrizio Romano breaking down the arrangement.
Staggeringly, Chelsea will receive just an initial £16.9m (€20m). Reports indicate various add-ons could ultimately the deal up to £23.6m (€28m). Either way, it represents another huge loss for Chelsea.
In a statement on their official website, Chelsea paid tribute to Werner.
Timo Werner shows appreciation to Chelsea
Following a lengthy write-up about his time at the Bridge, the article concluded with a simple message.
“All at Chelsea thank Timo for his contribution to our success over the past two years and wish him well for his future career.”
And the amicable departure of Werner also sees the player offering his thanks to the Chelsea supporters.
“Dear Blues, today marks the end of my journey with Chelsea,” he wrote.
“I am incredibly grateful for the time I spent at this special club. At this point I would like to express my appreciation for my teammate, the coaches and staff, and especially for you, the special supporters.
“I felt so much love and support throughout the last two years and I will never forget how you guys stood behind me in good and in challenging times!
“We lifted trophies like the Champions League together and I will always remember the song you wrote and chanted for me.
“I’m already looking forward to hopefully playing at Stamford Bridge again one day!”
Striker will relish returning to the Bundesliga
Truth be told, Werner always looked like a ‘nearly player’ during his time at Stamford Bridge. Once it all went down hill, there were precious few indications that his form would ever recover.
It’s a great shame because there is clearly an unbelievably talented player there, as illustrated by his form previously for Leipzig.
Indeed, that form resulted in a bit of a transfer battle between both Liverpool and Chelsea for his services.
Liverpool, ultimately, though pulled out – much to everyone’s surprise at the time. Eyebrows were raised further when the Reds went on to spend a similar fee to lure Diogo Jota from Wolves.
Are Chelsea finding themselves in a difficult situation during pre-season?
Should Chelsea fans be worried for the start of the campaign after losing out on any transfer targets and a somewhat underwhelming pre-season performance?
However, with Jota recently signing an improved Liverpool deal and with Werner also returning to Leipzig, the Reds will feel they got that one right.
Where it went wrong for Chelsea though is anyone’s guess. Not quite an out-and-out striker and perhaps too inconsistent to play regularly in behind, he was in and out of the Blues team.
Timo Werner will return to Leipzig though with little to prove. His record there was incredible, scoring 95 goals in 159 appearances over four seasons. And the 26-year-old will hope to pick up where he left off for the Bundesliga outfit.