RB Leipzig will have to do without Chelsea striker, Timo Werner in their rank after three years in the top flight.
The coach, Julian Nagelsmann has therefore charged the likes of Yussuf Poulsen, Christopher Nkunku, Dani Olmo, Marcel Sabitzer, and Hwang Hee-chan to shoulder goal-scoring responsibilities for the club.
Werner has joined the Premier League club for the new season and they will have to rely on other members of the team for goals. Werner has been shouldering the responsibility. He has been the club’s top scorer in each of their four campaigns of top-flight football.
He had scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga in the 2019-20 season, which bettered his previous best mark of 21.
Who else will shoulder goals responsibilities at Leipzig post-Timo Werner era?
Sabitzer is behind the German striker with 13 goals. The arrival of South Korea international forward Hwang could reduce the burden on the midfielder. Hwang had scored 16 goals created 21 assists for Red Bull Salzburg the last term.
Nagelsmann believes that the collective efforts of the players will be key to replicating last season’s third-placed finish. Leipzig also reached the last four of the UEFA Champions League last season. They lost 3-0 to PSG.
“We’ve already signed Hwang Hee-Chan, but replacing the goals of Timo is a big challenge. Obviously you can’t do it like-for-like, so we’ll have to share out his [34 goals and 13 assists] between more players,” the 33-year-old told SportBild.
Werner didn’t complete the Champions League season with the Bundesliga side. Leipzig overcomes Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid 2-1 in their one-legged Champions League quarter-final in Portugal without the goal machine. The needed goals came from midfield pair Dani Olmo and Tyler Adams.
Speaking on the season of the Saxony outfit, Nagelsmann took plenty of positives from his debut season as coach.
“All things considered, it was a solid 3+. One being the best and five the worst in the traditional German player rating system.
“Looking at our third-placed finish in the Bundesliga and run to the Champions League semis, it was definitely better than a three, but there’s more to it than that: steady progress, consistency, transfers, football without fans, the coming together of an ever-evolving club.
“We have the potential to improve in all areas, and we’re all very ambitious. That’s why a 3+ is fair.”
‘Angelino is the surprise of the season’
Nagelsmann also stated that left-back, Angelino, who joined the club on loan from Manchester City is the biggest surprise of the season.
The 23-year-old Spanish full-back scored five goals and as many assists in 18 first-team appearances. He linked up with the club on a six-month loan from City in January.
“We already knew he was good, but it was the way he just slotted right in.
“We loaned him at the last minute in January. He played immediately without having trained, took on responsibility and played clever football.”
Leipzig will begin the 2020/21 season in the DFB Cup first round on 14 September. They will be traveling to Bundesliga 2 outfit Nuremberg.
Their Bundesliga opener will be against Mainz a week later on their home ground. They will later be looking forward to a second successive Champions League group-stage campaign – and third overall – next season.