Timo Werner has started his first season in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig in decent form and is well worthy of the envious looks he is receiving. A favourite of mine two or three years ago when he was at Stuttgart, I don't think he's made enough progress in the last few years to really justify the extreme hype around him. I am going to make the case here that 5 players for the Bullen are either better or more important (or both) than Werner.
P.S. RB are here to stay, so its time to start writing serious articles about their players and not their background. That can be sorted out with the ultras and the DFB, not on sites like ours.
1. Willi Orban
The centre-back and vice-captain has been the key figure on the pitch for RB this season. With captain Dominik Kaiser finding himself on the bench on occasion Orban has often been the leader on the pitch and has decided his leadership style is "by example". He scored the crucial goal against Bayer Leverkusen to take his side to the top of the table but his most impressive trait is his solid defending and ability to read the game. He is a key reason for the low number of goals his side have conceded.
2. Marcel Sabitzer
A potent attacking force in attacking midfield, Sabitzer is arguably the star of the team. The 22 year old has scored 3 goals and runs the game with his pinpoint passing and vision. He also embodies the successful young player that defines the Red Bull "brand" of football, having won the Austrian Bundesliga with the Salzburg branch of the company. A real star and the crucial piece in the attacking jigsaw, Sabitzer is on his way to being the complete play-maker.
3. Emil Forsberg
The Swedish forward is a veritable grandfather by the RB standards, but at 25 he still has the majority of his career ahead of him. When I saw RB play Fortuna Düsseldorf last season he stood out like a beacon, feeding the strikers with aplomb and really demonstrating a maturity rarely seen in a still-young player. Although he has not yet reached the peak of his career, he is the man the others look to for inspiration when going forward. The most complete attacking player on the team in terms of readiness for another level up, Forsberg was arguably the only player in the 2. Bundesliga who should have been playing in the Champions League. Next season, with or without Leipzig, he should be featuring on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
4. Naby Keita
Every team needs a Keita. Liverpool have Henderson; Real Madrid have Toni Kroos or Casemiro; Barcelona have Busquets. Keita is the Bundesliga's version of the all-action, match dominating, occasionally goal-scoring midfielder and his performances this season have seen comparisons with various players across Europe come flying in. Leipzig see him as the key link between defence and attack, bringing the ball from front to back and winning it back before it can reach the back four again after his side lose it. Chipping in with three goals in his nine performances has helped foster the idea that Keita is the full package.
5. Yussuf Poulson
An often overlooked, but undoubtedly essential, part of the RB Leipzig plan is the striker Yussuf Poulson. The Dane may not score as many as other strikers: he may not even score as many goals as the midfielders in his side. On the other hand his pace and work rate lead the team in their high energy pressing and his tempo dictates the rest of the side. If Poulson presses high and fast, his team mates are dragged with him and the whole team is energised by his leadership. At 22 he is already in his fourth season with the RB project and it is clear he has fully invested in the plan. Without Poulson it is questionable whether Leipzig's pressing would be half as effective.
So remember everyone, just because Werner is the name on everyone's lips doesn't mean he is the player to watch out for. Yeah he played for Stuttgart and defected and, other than Scottish lad Oliver Burke, is the best known player in the squad outside of Germany thanks to his time in the Bundesliga with the south German side, but there are better options out there.