WE ear Timo Werner may have a weakness.
The Blues have announced the of signing RB Leipzig’s brilliant German striker in a sensational £54million deal, snatching him from under the noses of Premier League rivals Liverpool.
But the 24-year-old prolific goalscorer, who has 32 goals in all competitions this season and is normally used to leaving defenders dizzy with his rapid speed, suffers from vertigo.
His condition is SO bad it once forced him off during an important Champions League tie, after he tried to play on wearing ear plugs.
Werner is also hated by rival fans who sang a popular terrace chant, “Werner is a son of a b****” following an incident against Schalke where he dived to win a penalty.
That particular ditty was sang by cops who once raided his locker, which caused outrage in his homeland.
SOUND AND VISION
In 2017, RB Leipzig travelled to Besiktas’ Vodafone Park in Istanbul.
Always an intimidating place to go, it was the Bundesliga side’s first away game in the Champions League – and a tie they would want to pick up points from.
But with the crowd roaring the Turks on, their star man Werner was left with blurry vision and had to go off after just 32 minutes suffering from “circulation problems”.
He had tried to soldier on by wearing ear plugs, but it was no use. RB Leipzig fell to a 2-0 defeat, and even their social media team joked at the deafening atmosphere.
“Not only are we now behind, but we’re pretty sure we’ve got tinnitus too. Mawp,” they amusingly wrote on their official Twitter page during the game.
And former manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted the hostile reception his team got was “too much for some.”
“He [Werner] asked to come off so I took him off,” Hasenhuttl revealed after the match.
“It is impossible to prepare your team for an atmosphere like this. There was a deafening noise [and] at the start of the game we were a bit affected.
“For me, as coach, it is important to see who I can rely on in moments like these, who is prepared to defend himself against what is going on on the pitch.”
It began in December, 2016.
In the first minute of a Bundesliga match against Schalke at the Red Bull Arena, Werner raced through on goal and collapsed to the ground to give the impression that visiting keeper Ralf Fährmann had impeded him.
Conclusive replays showed there was no contact, but the referee awarded the penalty which Werner coolly slotted home.
He apologised after the game, and admitted he was in the wrong. But it was an incident that showed the hitman was a ‘Master of the dark arts’, willing to do anything to get a goal for his side.
From there on in Werner became a target for rival fans. Whenever he played, he was met with a vile chant that translates to ‘Timo Werner is a son of a b****’.
A season later, a shocking video of cops rummaging through his locker and showing off his shirt, while singing that offensive song emerged.
Police in the central German state of Hessen apologised for the incident, and revealed they had opened disciplinary proceedings against the officers involved.
In terms of goals per minute, Werner ranks higher than Barcelona legend Lionel Messi, Liverpool’s Mo Salah and PSG’s l’enfant terrible, Neymar.
His rise to prominence accelerated when he joined Leipzig from Stuttgart in the summer of 2016.
“Timo’s development has been fantastic,” former manager Ralf Rangnick, who brought Werner to the club, revealed to Bundesliga.com.
“He’s come on leaps and bounds and we’ve played our part in that, and turned him into a national team player.”
He told beIN SPORTS: “I had the honour to work with him for two years, it was a fantastic time especially the first year he had a fantastic season I think he scored 24 goals in the season for me.
“He’s so hard to stop because he’s so quick with a very good finish. These are the strength’s that everyone knows.”
He added: “I think he has made his next step in his development and (is) becoming more and more complete and (a) very good football player and I think he’s absolutely a strength for any team in Europe.”