After more than a two-month gap, major European football leagues are gradually resuming action.
The German Bundesliga showed the way for others to follow, with the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A next in line.
The FA declared last month that the Premier League will make a comeback on the 17th June.
In accordance, the teams asked their players to return to the training pitch and the managers once again became active, not only to prepare for the remaining games this season but also for the next.
Transfer news took centre stage at once with Chelsea grabbing the headlines by striking, what can well be called, the summer’s biggest deal yet.
RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner has been heavily tipped to move to the Premier League this summer, with the player earlier expressing his desire to leave Germany.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been a keen admirer of the player and was interested in bringing him to Anfield.
Timo Werner also wanted to play for the Reds as he said in February:
“Liverpool are the best team in the world at the moment, and when you’re linked with that team it makes me very proud.”
However, given the current financial uncertainties, the Liverpool board weren’t sure about sanctioning the £54 million fee which would have triggered the German international’s release clause, with Klopp also echoing the same sentiments recently.
“All clubs are losing money. How do I discuss with the players about things like salary waivers and on the other hand buy a player for £50-60m — we’d have to explain.”
And herein came Chelsea manager Frank Lampard to steal the deal for the 24-year-old. The Blues had touched base with the player back in Christmas but Werner wasn’t interested in leaving RB Leipzig mid-season.
Fast forward to the summer, discussions went on with reports revealing that Lampard flew to Germany along with Chelsea technical director Petr Cech to conclude a deal for Timo Werner. Once the former Derby manager managed to convince the player about his vision, striking a deal wasn’t that difficult.
While Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has insisted that he is not a big fan of the player and missing out on his signing isn’t such a big deal, questions still remain as to whether Timo Werner could have been a telling influence at Anfield next season. So will the Reds miss the German at the club next season?
Liverpool have a settled front three
Liverpool have one of the strongest forward lines not just in the Premier League but in the whole of Europe, with a three-prong attack made up of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The trio have been in impressive goalscoring form over the last few years, scoring as many as 245 goals among them. Jurgen Klopp has, therefore, no reason to change the shape of his team for the upcoming season.
There is also no reason to believe that Mane (28), Salah (27) and Firmino (28) are past their prime and are not capable enough to deliver on a consistent basis.
Throwing Timo Werner into the mix could have disrupted Liverpool’s settled front three and as the famous saying goes – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Timo Werner remains untested in the Premier League
Premier League is known for being gruesome to players coming from other leagues.
While some manage to make their mark in England, there are several examples of big-name players failing to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
In recent years, the likes of Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Roberto Soldado, Eliaquim Mangala and Nolito failed in the Premier League, despite tasting success in other leagues.
Moreover, Liverpool’s last recruit from RB Leipzig, Naby Keita is yet to hit the ground running at Anfield.
Requiring a heavy investment (as much as £54 million) Timo Werner’s signing could have proved to be a huge gamble for the Premier League champions-elect.
Given the current financial uncertainties, the American firm, Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool, didn’t want to take the risk of splashing the cash on a player, who is untested in English conditions.
However, all doubts will be clarified once Chelsea finalise the move and Timo Werner starts playing for the Blues. As for the Liverpool fans, they will hope that club legend Robbie Fowler’s predictions regarding Werner prove to be right.
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