It is a matter of when not if regarding Werner’s departure from Bundesliga and the Brazilian is perfect to replace him at RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig have taken tremendous strides over the last decade. From being a side struggling in third tier of German football to title contenders have been an uphill task.
For the better part of this journey, Timo Werner has been their talisman in front. The Germany international has scored the goals to get them over the line.
In the last two seasons, Leipzig have become title contenders. They have overtaken Dortmund and are challenging Bayern Munich’s dominance in German top flight football. All thanks to Werner’s goal scoring exploits.
Julian Nagelsmann must be acutely aware of the German international’s contribution. And what he stands to lose when he decides to leave Red Bull Arena.
That situation is closer than everyone had hoped for. But to be frank, Die Roten Bullen have already stayed longer than he would have like it.
Nagelsmann has the tough task of replacing Werner, one he would like to designate but it needs his direct supervision. Plenty of names have been thrown around and all have merit.
But the one name that stands out from the lot is Gabriel Barbosa, formerly of Inter Milan but now plying his trade at Flamengo.
At 23 years of age, Barbosa is a year younger than Werner but boasts similar goal threat. A prolific goal scorer, Gabigol has managed 22 goals and 8 assists in the center forward position.
Moreover, like Werner, he is adept at occupying any of the three attacking roles. But this is not where similarities with RB forward end.
Both Gabigol and Timo Werner can run past defenses but are also able to set up their peers. The duo can also hold up play or even drop down to assist in midfield.
All encompassing with an eye for goal, this is what Nagelsmann want and this is what he will get in Barbosa. In addition, he will only have to part company with a fraction of proceeds from Timo Werner’s sale to acquire the Brazilian.