Forward Timo Werner has returned to Leipzig after a spell at Chelsea

Forward Timo Werner has returned to Leipzig after a spell at Chelsea

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) – Timo Werner is returning to RB Leipzig after a difficult two-year stint at Chelsea.

The German forward and his two clubs confirmed the move on Tuesday, with Werner left out of Chelsea’s squad for the team’s Premier League opener against Everton on Saturday.

“Today marks the end of my journey with Chelsea FC,” Werner said in a written message to the London club’s supporters. “I’ve felt so much love and support over the last two years and I’ll never forget how you stood behind me in good and challenging times!”

Werner became Leipzig’s record scorer in his first four-year spell at the club, scoring 95 goals in 159 games. He has also scored 24 goals in 53 international matches for Germany.

But he couldn’t replicate that scoring rate at Chelsea, where he stood to miss more chances than put them away during his first season in 2020-21. He scored just 10 Premier League goals during his two seasons at Stamford Bridge but played a key role in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in 2021, scoring in the semi-final against Real Madrid.

Having cost Chelsea in the region of 50 million pounds ($60 million) in 2020, British media said Leipzig paid around half that to bring him back.

“Timo Werner is a fantastic striker who brings another dynamism to our attack thanks to his profile,” said Leipzig technical director Christopher Weuvel. “His speed and finishing are fantastic; he will take our attacking game to the next level and above all make us even more unpredictable.

Werner’s departure leaves Chelsea short of strikers, with Romelu Lukaku joining Inter Milan on loan. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel opted to play winger Raheem Sterling in the 1-0 win at Everton but said the club will look to add attacking options before the end of the transfer window.

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