It’s no secret that Bayern Munich have expressed interest in signing Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, but it looks like they’ll have some stiff competition from the English Premier League as Liverpool are said to be keeping close tabs on him. Per a report by az, Klopp and the rest of his coaching staff have their eyes on Werner, so much to the point where Liverpool had scouts present at the Red Bull Arena during Leipzig’s match against Borussia Monchengladbach at the beginning of December, which Leipzig won 2-0.
Ironically enough, the report from az came out nearly 24 hours after Werner had dropped a hint at his desire to potentially move to Bayern during the summer transfer window when he was talking to Sky Deutschland after Leipzig’s 1-0 loss at the Allianz Arena:
I’ve had a nice two and a half years at Leipzig, so they are in the picture. There are other clubs in the picture [too]. If you play in Germany and want to stay in Germany, there is only one club in question.
It goes without saying that the “one club” Werner is referring to is Bayern Munich, and it would be a sensible next step in the 22-year old’s career. His current contract with Leipzig runs through June 2020, but he has yet to sign a contract extension despite the club’s attempts to get him to do so. Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick has expressed his confidence that Werner will stay until 2020, but with Julian Nagelsmann taking the helm for the 2019/2020 season, Werner could very well decide that it’s the perfect time to make the next step.
Bayern vs. Liverpool - Where would he fit best?
With both Liverpool and Bayern showing a heavy interest in acquiring Werner’s services, it begs the question: Where would he fit better?
At Liverpool - If there’s any club in the Premier League that best suits Werner’s strengths, it’s Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Their “front three” of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah are one of the most prolific attacking lines in all of Europe and the three have totaled 27 goals across all competitions this season after a 2017/2018 campaign that saw them combine for a total of 91 goals across all competitions. With that said, even a player like Werner could struggle to find a way into Liverpool’s starting eleven with the 4-3-3 system that Klopp prefers. The front three are, without a doubt, among the first names on Klopp’s team sheets, so Werner would have to accept the prospect of playing a utility-type role at Anfield, which wouldn’t necessarily be all that bad for Werner.
For one, with all of the separate cups in England, most Premier League teams play more matches in any given season, especially with the presence of European competition. For clubs like Liverpool, that means more scenarios where managers need to make rotations to their lineups, and the investments that Klopp made over the summer transfer window have significantly helped Liverpool’s depth. Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Alisson Becker have all come to fruition in their first season with Liverpool despite the fact that Alisson is the only consistent starter, which Werner should take solace in.
If Werner were to go to Liverpool, he would be a perfect option for Klopp to utilize if and when he switches to a 4-2-3-1 for certain matches, or if any of the front three are injured or need to be rested. After all, as a natural striker/winger, Werner would be a far better utility option than Daniel Sturridge other than the front three.
At Bayern - Much like the prospect of being behind the “front three” in the pecking order at Liverpool, if Werner were to make the move to Bayern, he’d likely be playing second fiddle to Robert Lewandowski, who Sandro Wanger is already playing second fiddle to. With Niko Kovac’s preference to either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation, Werner could potentially be competing for a starting with Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman in one of the wide positions assuming Lewandowski is the main man up front. Of course, Werner’s versatile presence in the lineup could give Kovac some tactical flexibility with his attacking line as the 22-year old could play out wide, as a false 9, or as an out-and-out striker.
Regardless of where Werner winds up next, one thing is for certain, the next club he goes to will be signing an incredibly talented, young, energetic player full of potential to grow into one of the world’s best strikers.
How about this for a run and finish from Leipzig’s 4-1 win over Mainz last weekend: