Werner ready to be Germany’s threat off the bench


HERZOGENAURACH (Germany): Fresh from winning the Champions League title with Chelsea, Timo Werner is ready to be a threat off the bench as Germany’s goal-scoring joker against France.

The Germans are bidding for a record fourth European Champion-ship title and start their Group F campaign with a clash of the giants against the world champions in Munich tomorrow.

Despite a mixed first season with Chelsea, Werner proved his finishing for Germany with a goal as a replacement in Monday’s 7-1 thrashing of Latvia in a friendly, netting for the 16th time in 39 internationals.

As Werner admits, there is “brutal” competition for Germany’s forward places and the 25-year-old is ready to offer head coach Joachim Loew a threat off the bench against the French.

“Of course I want to start, but it’s normal at this level to sit on the bench,” Werner said on Saturday at Germany’s base in Bavaria.

“I’m not a player who sits in the stands with crossed arms and sulks.

“You have to be dangerous in front of goal and give the coach the option that you can also help the team from the bench.”

His Chelsea teammate Kai Havertz, veteran Thomas Mueller and Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry are likely to start against the French.

Werner had an up-and-down first season with Chelsea, hitting the net just six times in 35 Premier League games and went three months without a goal in England’s top flight.

After missing a sitter in the Champions League semi-final, first leg draw at Real Madrid, Werner made amends with a headed goal in the 2-0 return-leg victory.

In the Porto final a fortnight ago, Werner’s decoy run opened space for Havertz to score and seal a 1-0 win over Manchester City.

“The bottom line looks good, we won the Champions League. It was a year with many ups and downs for me personally,” Werner admitted.

“I was able to learn a lot and it wasn’t all bad. I have developed in many things.” — AFP

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