Leipzig’s goal-getter ready to replace Werner in Champions League title

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 00:00 |
Yussuf Poulsen.

Lisbon, Wednesday

Yussuf Poulsen has shaken off an ankle injury and is ready to slot in for Timo Werner and help provide the goals for RB Leipzig in Thursday’s Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid.

After scoring 34 times last season, including four in the Champions League, Germany striker Werner quit Leipzig to sign for Premier League side Chelsea in June.

Despite permission from Chelsea, Werner turned down the chance to play for Leipzig in the quarter-finals in order to focus on settling into life in London.

In his absence Poulsen, who has recovered from an ankle injury in May, is set to partner on-loan Czech forward Patrik Schick in Lisbon.

“We know that we can’t completely replace Timo one to one,” Poulsen told AFP subsidiary SID.

“But I also know that the coach has a lot of ideas on how we can approach this and be at least as effective in Lisbon as we were in our previous Champions League games.

“As long as I’m in the starting eleven, I always agree with the coach,” he joked.

Leipzig were only founded in 2009 and are in the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time.

After beating Tottenham in the last 16, they are eager to extend their run under ambitious head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Despite being just 26, Poulsen has spent seven years at Leipzig and has come up with them from Germany’s third division to Europe’s top table. 

The Denmark international has scored 63 goals and created 51 more in 250 appearances for the club from Germany’s east.

He has the distinction of being the first Leipzig player to score a Bundesliga hat-trick, doing so against Hertha Berlin in March 2019.

Now, after weeks of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic between February’s last-16 win and the quarter-final, Poulsen said the Germans are ready to face an experienced Atletico side. “We’re all really looking forward to the game,” said the Dane. -AFP

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