Soccer-Germany coach Flick delighted with Werner's Leipzig return

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Group C - Germany v Italy - Borussia-Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - June 14, 2022 Germany's Timo Werner with coach Hansi Flick after he was substituted REUTERS/Heiko Becker

BERLIN (Reuters) -Timo Werner's return to his former club RB Leipzig is good news both for the league and for the player, who will continue competing at the highest level, Germany coach Hansi Flick said, with the year-ending World Cup just around the corner.

Werner, whose form over the past two years raised questions about whether he was the right striker for this year's World Cup in Qatar, signed a four-year contract on Tuesday to return to Leipzig from Chelsea.

The 26-year-old spent the largest part of his senior career at RB Leipzig between 2016-20 and is the club's all-time top scorer with 95 goals.

"I am very happy for the Bundesliga that Timo Werner is coming back," Flick said in a statement. "With his qualities he is an enrichment for every league."

"With Leipzig, where he matured into a international top striker, Timo will continue to test himself in the Champions League against the best players around," Flick said.

Werner parted ways with Chelsea after two years at the Premier League club, where he lifted the Champions League trophy as well as the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup in 2021 but failed to hold down a starting spot.

He made 89 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 23 goals.

Werner hopes his return to Leipzig, who have qualified for the Champions league group stage this season, will provide him with the platform to rediscover his old form and get sufficient playing time to be in peak form at the World Cup.

"For me it was clear that Leipzig was a very good step," Werner told a news conference on Wednesday. "The transfer was the logical step to gain self-confidence.

"There is a World Cup this year and you want to have the best possible preparation and play as much as possible. It was the optimal time to get back into form and enjoy football again.

"I did not have in the past few seasons many chances to present myself. Hopefully it will be different now," he added.

Werner has earned 53 caps and scored 24 goals for Germany, who crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the first round.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Christian Radnedge)

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