Timo Werner can fill the gap left by Son at Tottenham and remind Germany of his talent

Forward joins Premier League side on a six-month loan from RB Leipzig, hoping to reignite his international prospects ahead of Euro 2024

Timo Werner has struggled for game time at RB Leipzig, starting only four matches this season. EPA
Powered by automated translation

Timo Werner's move back to the Premier League on loan with Tottenham Hotspur offers a road to redemption with the once-vaunted striker's career at a crossroads.

Werner, 27, signed from RB Leipzig until the end of the season on Monday. The six-month deal includes an option to make the transfer permanent in the summer.

Much of that will depend on how well Werner adapts to life back in England. His last spell, at Chelsea, included a Champions League winner's medal, but few at Stamford Bridge would consider Werner's two-year stay from 2020 to 2022 a roaring success.

Tottenham will hope the Werner they signed mirrors the one that terrorised them over two legs in the 2019/20 Champions League. The dynamic forward scored the only goal in the away leg and tormented Serge Aurier so much at Leipzig's Red Bull Arena that Jose Mourinho replaced him with an untested 17-year-old Malachi Fagan-Walcott.

“I’m very happy to be here – I think I joined a very, very big club,” Werner told Tottenham’s website. "I spoke with the [Spurs] manager [Ange Postecoglou] and it was a really good talk.

"He gave me straight away the feeling what I need to join a club and what I want to feel when you talk to a manager.

"Also, that tactics and style, how he wants to play. For me, I thought straight away that it fits perfectly. I hope I can be the best player I can be here.”

The move suits both parties. Spurs are shorn of the services of their premier wide forward Son Heung-min on Asian Cup duty for the next month and is able to play anywhere across the front line; Werner desperately needs game time if he is to force his way back into Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann's plans for Euro 2024 in Germany.

Werner has 57 Germany caps but last played for his country in a friendly defeat by Belgium in March 2023. Die Mannschaft have lost six of 11 matches since then while Nagelsmann, the unanimous choice to replace Hansi Flick, has overseen only one win in four friendly games since taking charge in September.

Germany can ill afford a poor tournament, particularly on home soil. A disastrous 2022 World Cup saw the four-time champions dumped out at the group stage for a second successive time and patience with Nagelsmann is already wearing thin.

Werner could go some way to helping his former club coach. In June 2016, Nagelsmann convinced Leipzig's Red Bull owners to part with a then club record €10 million to sign the 20-year-old Werner from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart. Nagelsmann, less than a decade older than Werner, helped nurture a talent that relied on blistering pace to get behind opposition defences from a wide left position to devastating effect.

Leipzig prospered. Werner would earn a big-money move to Chelsea while Nagelsmann would succeed Flick at perennial German champions Bayern Munich.

The moves were met with mixed success. Werner collected a Champions League medal with Chelsea in 2021, starting the final in Porto against Manchester City. It was another German international, Kai Havertz, who emerged as the hero though, scoring the only goal of the game. He was sold back to Leipzig in 2022 for £25 million, a full £28 million less than what they paid for him two years previous. Nagelsmann, meanwhile, lasted less than a year at Bayern despite guiding the Bavarians to their now customary Bundesliga shield in his first season.

Werner has started only four matches this season, scoring twice in 14 appearances across competitions. He missed Saturday's friendly with St Gallen because transfer talks were taking place with Tottenham.

His move is subject to international clearance but Werner could be available when Spurs play at Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League, six points behind leaders Liverpool.

Updated: January 10, 2024, 8:48 AM