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Red Bull’s flying German

Timo Werner

The 2016/2017 season was a big one for Timo Werner as it was a season in which he moved from Stuttgart to a highly-ambitious club named Red Bull Leipzig who were aiming to upset the dominance of Bayern Munich and announce themselves on the European stage. He started so well for his new club that he was given his first international appearance for Germany in March 2017 and he has since gone on to make a further 28 appearances and scoring 11 goals. Since his international debut, the reputation of Timo Werner has continued to increase and he is now widely considered to be one of the best young strikers in European football.

Although typically deployed as a central striker, Werner is also comfortable in playing out on the left wing and his versatility is just one of a wide range of attributes that has interested teams from all over Europe. In the last couple of seasons, barely a transfer window has passed where Werner isn’t linked with some of the highest profile clubs in European football. However, it now seems that the RB Leipzig star is almost certain to be moving on as Leipzig manager Julien Nagelsman seems resigned to losing his star striker and has admitted he doesn’t expect to see Werner in a RB Leipzig shirt next season. What will have made it an especially tough admission is the fact that Werner has scored, at the time of writing, 25 goals in 31 appearances this season in addition to 8 assists so he will be a very tough player to replace as the German club aim to secure their first league title.

Over the past few months, Liverpool have been strongly linked with Werner as the Merseyside outfit look for alternatives to their dominant attacking trio of Mane, Salah, and Firmino. Since reports were first announced, there have been contrasting views from a lot of pundits and former players. Some have questioned whether the club, and Werner himself, would be happy to pay such a high price to have a player patiently sitting on the bench as he waits for his chance to break into the team or for Klopp to rotate the team. Whilst others have taken the view that the German striker could be the player that could help to take Liverpool to the next level and to help continue their dominance in both domestic and European competitions. Just when it seemed that a deal was being agreed and the final details were being discussed, the COVID-19 outbreak occurred in England and clubs began to assess their transfer dealings as their finances began to take a hit. This pressure meant that Liverpool were trying to negotiate a reduced fee for Werner and opened the door for other teams to make bids of their own.

It looks like Chelsea have taken full advantage of Liverpool’s hesitancy as they are now reported to be agreeing the final details of the contract with the player which is reported to be for a fee of €60 million (£50 million) which is the current release clause in his contract. This would also seem like a better fit for the 24 year old striker as not only would he help to add some more experience to the Chelsea team, but it will also result in getting a lot more playing time than he might have received at Liverpool. Although Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will have to be careful in balancing the playing needs of Werner and his current regular striker Tammy Abraham who, this season, has risen to the challenge of being the main striker as they endured a summer of no spending due to their transfer ban. There has been a youth revolution at the west London club under Lampard but there have been games this season when they have failed to take their chances and this is where Werner will be expected to make the most difference as they seek to close the gap between themselves, Man City and Liverpool to once again be competitive in the Champions League.

As ever with young talent in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich have also previously tried to secure the services of Timo Werner. However, Werner’s recent public statement revealing that he would prefer to move abroad is believed to have ended the Bavarian’s pursuit of the player.

Our calculations currently value the player at £22.45m although if Werner can transfer his current form from the Bundesliga to the Premier League, he could prove to be much more valuable to Chelsea or Liverpool. When considering he is yet to reach his peak and likely marketing opportunities, a £50m purchase would appear to be a very shrewd acquisition for either Club.

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