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Shaqiri Could Go to Liverpool; Werner Is The One to Fill His Boots

If Shaqiri's foot is indeed out the door, and Werner could be the one knocking to restore Bayern's balanced squad

Daniel Kopatsch

Bayern München's dominance the past two seasons has been in part their symmetry of experience. They are neither too young or too old, too raw or too seasoned.

The transfer policy has reflected as such, the Rekordmeister investing in seven players aged 23 or under over the past three years. One of those was Xherdan Shaqiri, a 20-year-old who Bayern were able to observe first hand when they faced FC Basel in the Round of 16 of the Champions League.

Shaqiri has portrayed glimpses of his potential stardom, his quickness and long range shooting impactful and his movement and link-up play mature. His development in just two years has made him into a terrific asset for Bayern, but he has outgrown his surroundings.

His thirst for time on the pitch may direct him towards a move to Liverpool, several sources reporting a €20 million price tag for the winger. Sky reporter Giancula di Marzio believes Shaqiri's brother and agent, Erdin, is close to an agreement with the Reds of Merseyside, the Metro reporting a five year contract on Thursday.

His standing in the squad may be superfluous the moment, but with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben on the wrong side of 30, his time to shine might be dawning. If Shaqiri were to leave as rumors suggest, then Bayern could have to find another to suffice as a longterm plan.

That sufficiency could be in the form of Timo Werner, an 18-year-old from VfB Stuttgart that Bayern reportedly inquired about earlier this month. They are not the only ones in the race: kicker reported that new front office appointment Michael Reschke might have to compete with his former club, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, for Werner's services.

Werner made 16 starts for Stuttgart, barely tying his shoes with the reserves before being required for the senior side. He scored 13 goals in six appearances with Germany's U17 team that seemed unstoppable in the UEFA U17 Championship before it ran into Ukraine in the Elite Round.

The last teenager Bayern purchased was Breno in 2007, a 17-year-old Brazilian defender from São Paolo FC who they paid €12 million for. He made just eight appearances with Bayern in three seasons, none with the reserve side, before being sent on loan to 1. FC Nürnberg.

Breno had a comparable number of players providing the barriers to the first team that Werner will likely have should he complete a move to Bayern. In fact, Werner would be in the exact position Shaqiri was in when he came to Bayern, both on the pitch and in the squad. What his age, and his position, allows for though is more twilight for the incumbents to end their careers in, while remaining flexible enough to get commensurate minutes he would at Stuttgart or Leverkusen.

Julian Green could already be the player that rises with a Shaqiri departure, but where his development stands after a year removed from the U19 team is still a question. The purchase of Mario Götze was a way for the flanks to stay fortified while the form of Robben and Ribéry inevitably dip, and thus Werner's purchase would therefore be out of luxury. However, considering the frivolity of the squad just six months ago, there is no amount of cover that could be considered enough.

Werner could be the next to keep the balance between youth and experience level, keeping the club on its glorious path to a continued dynasty of dominance.

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