Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has advised the Anfield club not to sign Timo Werner amid the Reds’ transfer links with the Germany striker.
After The Athletic claimed last month that Liverpool had stepped up their interest in signing the RB Leipzig centre-forward, the print edition of Spanish newspaper Sport reported yesterday [via Sport Witness] that a deal for the 24-year-old is ‘very close’.
Although Werner has excelled with 27 goals for his club this season, Hamann feels that he would not be a good fit for the Reds and can’t see him dislodging any of Jurgen Klopp’s first choice front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
He told The Athletic’s Steilcast Podcast: “I don’t think he’s a player for Munich or Liverpool (with) the way they play at the moment. We’ve seen him in the national team in certain games when he plays out wide and he’s not tricky enough. You need trickery, you need to beat a man by shifting your weight.
“I read quotes from journalist or people close to the club in Liverpool when he always said Liverpool is a great club (and that) Klopp is the greatest trainer, that he was a bit too forward in showing interest in going to Liverpool. Where’s he going to play? Even if Mane or Salah go, out wide is not his position and the centre-forward position, the way they do play, is probably the most crucial one.
“Firmino is probably a bit underrated in some people’s eyes. He’s a ball-playing centre-forward, he probably doesn’t get the goals that other players get. But he brings other players into position and that’s certainly not Werner’s game, so (it’s) a no from me.”
Hamann makes some valid points regarding Werner, who indeed plays primarily as a centre-forward for RB Leipzig. However, he has occasionally shifted out to the left flank this season and can also play in a second striker role, so he is more versatile than what the ex-Germany midfielder seems to suggest.
Hamann also has a fair point about Firmino’s excellent link-up play with Salah and Mane and the positive effect that often has for Liverpool (as per The Guardian). As mentioned earlier, though, Werner is wonderfully prolific and would offer a potent focal point to the Reds’ attack – something that, for all his fine team play, Firmino doesn’t quite manage for Liverpool, with just 11 goals this season to Werner’s 27.
The potential arrival of the 24-year-old German at Anfield would give Klopp an enviable array of attacking options, as well as greater flexibility to adopt a 4-2-3-1 as an alternative to his usual 4-3-3 if the occasion or opposition would warrant it. A poacher of Werner’s ability would be too inviting for Liverpool to turn down and, despite Hamann’s concerns about the striker not fitting Liverpool’s style of play, it seems quite unlikely that Klopp would apparently be so keen on the player if he didn’t think he would enhance the squad.
Liverpool fans, what do you make of Hamann’s verdict on Werner? Do you think the ex-Reds midfielder has a point or is he wrong on this one? Join in the discussion by commenting below!