Timo Werner was the star man as Julian Nagelsmann picked up three points on his home debut as RB Leipzig coach. With Werner likely to depart the club next year, will we see the best out of Werner in the season ahead?
It was announced shortly before kickoff in Leipzig that the man coveted by Bayern Munich has committed his future to the East German club — for now.
The extension, which runs until 2023 and, according to Bild, includes a relatively low release clause of €47m ($52.6) and reduces as the contract matures,may only be a mechanism to ensure that Leipzig are suitably compensated for his inevitable departure.
That move, which ends a long period of uncertainty over Werner's future, will likely come next summer, but in the meantime Werner has unfinished business at Leipzig. It took him only 10 minutes to mark his new contract with a goal, an instinctive hooked finish that squeezed inside the near post and set RB Leipzig on the path to victory against an Eintracht Frankfurt side, who made life tough for the hosts but ultimately couldn't match Leipzig's clinical finishing.
"I'm happy to have signed a new contract and to have scored a goal," Werner said after the game. "It meant so much to me that our fans celebrated my contract extension so loudly in the stadium."
Werner was celebrating again on matchday two as he looks to lead Leipzig's scoring charts again this season
Werner looking to get back to his best
Werner will be a key figure for Leipzig this season, who could make a title challenge.If they can keep their key players fit, firing and following new coach Julian Nagelsmann's rigorous regime, this side can be dangerous.
Nagelsmann knows that he likely only has one season with Werner, and the early indications are that the striker plans to make his fourth season in Leipzig his best yet. Having finished the last three seasons with 16, 13 and 21 goals respectively, Werner looks ready to challenge for the golden boot again. Against Frankfurt, he scored his second goal of the season, and looked dangerous wherever he went. Even during Germany's disastrous World Cup campaign last year in Russia, Werner's deployment as a left-sided forward worked, and is something Nagelsmann is toying with too.
Werner, who actually ended the game early with a hamstring strain, wasn't the only player whose deadly finishing could make this a very good season for Leipzig. Yussuf Poulsen joined the party 10 minutes from the end, showing fine technique to hammer in a volley that settled the game, and remind Leipzig fans that there's another key player in this attack.
The result secures Nagelsmann victory in his home debut as RB Leipzig coach and maintains their perfect start to the season. With Werner seemingly keen to work under Germany's brightest young coach, all the pieces are in the right place for Leipzig to make their strongest claim yet to upset Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the top of German football.