Is Timo Werner best suited somewhere other than Anfield?
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann explained Thursday on Sky Sports’ “The Football Show” why he believes the Reds shouldn’t sign the RB Leipzig striker during the summer transfer window. Recent rumors have linked Werner with a transfer to Liverpool, but Hamann believes the Reds’ and opponents’ tactics would prevent him from recreating the goal-scoring impact he has demonstrated in his career to date.
“I’m not too sure (about it),” Hamann said. “… But 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 skillful, 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.
“Then if you look at Roberto Firmino’s position (in the center), I think the way they are set up, you almost need a Teddy Sheringham-type player like Firmino is to link things up. He’s not really one who goes in behind the back four, he likes to come short and bring Salah and Mane into the play so I just don’t know where he would play.”
Werner has scored 27 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season for Leipzig, helping the club contend for the Bundesliga (German first division) title and reach the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.
The 24-year-old is in-demand, as likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and perhaps even Liverpool and other top teams reportedly are interested in his services. His contract contains a £52 million (€59.4 million/$64.3 million) release clause, which will expire June 15.
That figure represents a risky outlay in any market, particularly for a player who might not fit snugly into a lineup or suit a certain style of play.