As we covered this morning, Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller sat down with Sport1 to cover a number of topics, but one very interesting comment the Raumdueter made was in regard to his Die Mannschaft teammate Timo Werner.
The RB Leipzig forward had a tremendous Hinrunde with 13 goals and three assists in 21 games across competitions and has been linked to Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, and Liverpool among others. Werner’s performance and production have warranted the interest from the aforementioned clubs, but determining what is best for his own future raises questions about each potential destination.
With his blazing speed and attacking ferocity, Werner has shaken off many of the doubts that arose after an up-and-down 2017/2018 campaign for both club and country. His German national team compatriot Müller spoke about Werner’s qualities and why a player like the 22-year-old speedster could be an asset to a club like Bayern:
Timo has really played his way to center stage in the past three years. He also has a key role on the national team and scores very many goals. He also has extremely high pace, but those involved have to explain everything else. At any rate, he’s someone who has the quality that can make the difference.
Sizing up potential destinations
The obvious roadblock for Werner with Bayern would be Robert Lewandowski’s cemented role at striker through at least the 2021 season. Both Bayern and Lewandowski have committed to each other for that period of time and the Polish Hitman’s production has been nothing short of spectacular this season. The Poland international has 22 goals and five assists in 24 games across all competitions so far this season.
Werner, however, also has the ability to play out wide as a wing, where Bayern’s current group for 2019/2020 includes Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Alphonso Davies (assuming Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are, indeed, in their final days with the club).
Coman (22) and Gnabry (23) have long and storied injury histories even at such young ages, while the 18-year-old Davies may need some seasoning before he’s ready for a regular first-team role. In addition, should Bayern finally secure the transfer of Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, it would serve as yet another obstacle to Werner’s potential move to Munich.
In the end, though, could it work? Yes and no.
Werner himself intimated that he would like a move to Bavaria, but as an established and proven player, could he be willing to bide his time in a hybrid role with Bayern until he could permanently settle into a starting role at striker? Would that be satisfactory for him and the club? These are the questions that any of Werner’s suitors must answer internally before making a move.
The same sort of roster crunch that Werner would face at Bayern also would exist at both Liverpool and Dortmund. Jürgen Klopp’s feared front line of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Roberto Firmino leaves little room for Werner, especially since Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Daniel Sturridge have found themselves playing forward roles at times.
Meanwhile, Dortmund recently committed to Paco Alcacer at striker and Mario Götze is playing his way into an extended stay as Lucien Favre’s “false 9” of choice. In addition, BVB has pacey wingers such as England’s Jadon Sancho and Denmark’s Jacob Bruun Larsen, who are counted among the Bundesliga’s brightest young stars, while Marius Wolf is still just 23 and full of potential. Werner would be in the same type of battle for consistent playing time at Westfalenstadion as he would be at Anfield or the Allianz Arena.
That all raises a major question: if Werner definitely wants to move on from RB Leipzig and faces the same fight for minutes at each potential destination, why wouldn’t he ultimately go where he wants to be?
Since Werner’s contract expires on June 30th, 2020, RB Leizpig will certainly expedite its decision on whether to extend Werner’s deal or sell him off in the coming months. With each passing day, Leipzig loses its leverage for a sale. Currently valued at €65m on Transfermarkt, Werner is rumored to be available for even less at roughly €35m-€40m of late.
How it can work with Bayern
If Werner truly wants Bayern and Bayern truly wants Werner, it could happen as early as this summer. A lot can transpire between now and then, however, and surely Werner, Leipzig, and Bayern will all have much to ponder about the future as we inch closer to the summer transfer window.
The ongoing saga with Hudson-Odoi will no doubt also play a role in any potential move for Werner. Given Lewandowski’s presence and the prospect of four young wingers as integral pieces on the 2019/2020 roster, Werner could be on the outside looking in.
If the transfer of Hudson-Odoi does not come to fruition, however, there could be an opening for Werner. The RB Leipzig man may embrace an opportunity to fill a versatile, hybrid role for Niko Kovac, while being able to grow with many of his Die Mannschaft teammates as Germany seeks to re-assert itself internationally leading into the 2022 World Cup.
Perhaps it would be a win-win scenario for Werner, Bayern, and Germany — or maybe the timing just won’t work for any of the three parties.
Time will tell and the coming months should provide plenty of scenarios for how — and where — Werner’s bright future will play out.