Liverpool and other Premier League clubs have just days left to trigger Timo Werner’s £49m release clause at RB Leipzig, but would he fit in at Anfield?
The Germany international striker’s €55m (£49m) release clause at RB Leipzig runs out on Monday June 15.
Werner’s first-choice destination is still Liverpool but the Premier League leaders are not willing to pay the release clause in the current climate.
But would he fit in Jurgen Klopp’s side with a forward trio of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane?
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‘WERNER NOT RIGHT FOR LIVERPOOL’
Werner is not the right signing for Liverpool, according to former Reds midfielder Dietmar Hamann.
Speaking on The Football Show last month, German Hamann said: “The thing with Liverpool is you’ve probably got the best front three in world football. If you play out wide for Liverpool, even though the full-backs like to go on the overlap, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are both very tricky players, they are very skilful and Werner is not that type of player.
“His biggest asset by far is his pace and if I watch games now, even at Anfield, with Liverpool being so superior to most teams, most of them sit back and if you deny Werner space, he’s a lot less effective.
“If you look at his goal record for Leipzig, his goals this season has been outstanding, but they like to play on the counter-attack and they’re not really a possession team. I don’t think he’s got the trickery to play out wide as Mane and Salah have.
“I’m sure there are players out there who will help Liverpool more next season than Werner.”
‘WERNER WILL CHALLENGE LIVERPOOL FRONT THREE’
However, former Reds defender Phil Thompson believes Werner is good enough to challenge Liverpool’s front three and would be a “fantastic” signing for the club.
“I think he’ll give a realistic challenge to the front three. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino – they look as though they’re set,” said Thompson. “We do have Divock Origi but I think everybody realises that he’s more of an impact player, for sort of the last 15, 20 minutes – but that’s not really good enough.
“We do need somebody a little bit better. Some people will say ‘Will Werner get in and will he want to come to Liverpool?’. I think he would and I think he does.
“You look at Manchester City, they’ve got two top class players in every position. That is what Liverpool need and I think Werner would help to give us that.
“With the lure of Jurgen Klopp, I think that would tick the box for him, and I think he would be a fantastic signing. Something that we do actually need.”
‘LIVERPOOL NEED MORE THAN ORIGI’
Speaking in April, Jamie Carragher said Liverpool certainly need a stronger understudy to the front three than Belgian striker Origi.
“I just think Liverpool need more than Divock Origi as back-up for the front three when they are out, and hence why Liverpool have been linked with Timo Werner. I actually do think Liverpool need to invest to keep them where they are.
“So certainly for me, a strong understudy to Andrew Robertson is needed, and certainly someone who is really going to push that front three. I think they certainly need to spend big to keep them ahead of the pack.”
‘IF LIVERPOOL WANT HIM, THEY’LL GET HIM’
Norwegian journalist and former Premier League striker Jan Aage Fjortoft told The Football Show last week that if Liverpool want Werner, they will get him.
“He is good enough for Liverpool, and as with any team, when the best talent in Europe is available, they have to go for him.
“If you see Timo Werner this year, with Julian Nagelsmann, this big prospect of managers, he has turned him into a more complete player. He is now going deeper, a more complete player, and Nagelsmann should be proud of that.
“Timo Werner said if he will leave RB Leipzig, it will be abroad. Do I think he will go to Liverpool? It is hard to say in these times, as RB Leipzig’s CEO said there is no chance you will get a cut price for Timo Werner, but let’s be honest, if Liverpool want a player, they will get that player!”
‘STRENGTHENING IS THE LIVERPOOL WAY’
Also asked in April where Liverpool should strengthen, Graeme Souness said the forward position should be the priority, and says it is the Liverpool way to strengthen when already dominant.
“I think up front, and that’s why I think they will go after Timo Werner. When we were the dominant team during my time as a player, every summer they spent money and brought players in. It was the Liverpool way.
“Liverpool are there, where they can cherry-pick the best, and they do not have to come in and be a superstar from the first game onwards, and the pressure is off them, so they can look around and figure out what it takes to be a Liverpool player.”
This article was originally published by Sky Sports and reproduced with permission.