I’m the last person you will meet that gets excited about transfer rumors. There are so many of them anymore thanks to twitter that it’s impossible to know what to believe, you’ll have your writers or publications that you tend to trust, but besides this it is a mess, basically every player is getting transferred to every club, which causes excitement and meltdowns within fan bases and sometimes at the same time. I usually ignore initial rumors and wait for a little smoke, then when a little smoke becomes a lot of smoke I start paying attention and thinking there is something to this rumor, since when you have a lot of smoke you end up getting fire, but I don’t even care before that. And the smoke has to be coming from somewhere reliable to give it the time of day. I see too many people during every transfer window go through every range of emotion that I think they may need medical help falling for and hanging onto every rumor like they were born yesterday. A lot of these people you could sell the Brooklyn bridge to, they’re so gullible.
So, anytime I see a rumor I tend not to get excited or even think of writing about it, but this one I am choosing to, just because I would love for it to happen. Bild has reported today that Liverpool has been strongly linked to Red Bull Leipzig forward Timo Werner. Outside of Jorghino or a comparable #6 which is Liverpool’s biggest need there is no player that I would love to come to Anfield more this summer than Werner.
Basically the Bild report says that Werner is looking to get out this summer, that Klopp has shown interest, has had close contact with his agent and has a good relationship with Werner’s agent Karlheinz Förster. The rumor also states that the move could be worth up to 100 million pounds, which makes sense there is no way that RBL is selling their star player, especially with Keita is leaving for anything less than a King’s Ransom. You also have to wonder what RBL’s willingness to do business with Liverpool would be after they poached Keita from them last summer.
I am going to take all this with a grain of salt, because transfer rumor season is worse than Hollywood gossip and more than 95% of what you hear is going to be complete BS. So, this could be just more BS or it could be true and Leipzig decides they want to keep him and refuses to sell which is within their rights, the player is under contract or it is complete truth and he has a great World Cup as likely Germany’s #9 and someone with deeper pockets than Liverpool comes in and offers more than the Reds are willing to offer, anything could happen at this point when it comes to this type of thing, but I do at least see a little smoke here so I am willing to give this rumor the time of day, where most rumors have to be out there a month and the smoke starts growing for me to even pay attention to it.
We know Liverpool is interested, we know Leipzig isn’t easy to deal with so that’s kind of where we are now with it, but this is definitely something to pay attention to.
So, why would Liverpool want this player so bad? Well he’s an emerging star. He’s molding into one of the best #9’s on the planet, like I said he should be holding that position down for Germany in the World Cup. Werner is also only 22, which is something we know Klopp loves, he loves the young players that are already established but have room for growth. He definitely checks that box. His style of play fits what is already being done at Anfield. He is a player with terrific movement which we’ve learned that if you’re going to be a success playing up front for Jurgen that movement is about as important as anything, which is obviously why Rorbert Firmnio has been so successful playing that position for the Reds. He has a chemistry with Naby Keita they have that Stockton/Malone type thing where they know where each other is at all times without even looking, which would be nice to bring that to Anfield as a package. He is also versatile and can drift out to the wing, which comes with his movement and he’s also a very good passer, which is something you don’t always see. In a lot of way Werner is the perfect 22 year old package for a #9, he’s already great but he has a lot of room to grow.
In 56 career games with Leipzig he has scored 32 goals which is an exceptional record. Last year he had 21 in 32 games, this year he has 35 goals in 18 games, it’s a little bit of a dropoff, but pretty much everything is a little bit of a dropoff this year for Leipzig. Things were always going to always be difficult for them this year. Last year they were able to kind of sneak up on people and have the dream season they had in their first year in the top flight. Their rise to the top is some what controversial and many purists hate them for it, but no one expected they were going to do what they did last year again. This year it was always going to be more difficult, they had a target on their back in league and had to deal with Champions League football for the first part of the year and Europa League now. This was always going to present new challenges and we’re always going to be tough to deal with for a young team like RBL. But when you watch Werner you can see what type of player he is and how much he could do for Liverpool if they somehow were able to bring him to Anfield.
So, you ask what would Liverpool do with Robert Firmino if he comes to Liverpool? Well that is a good question considering Firmino has been excellent and his false 9 role is the perfect fit for Klopp’s system, so I can understand why some may question it, but there are ways you can make this work with both Werner and Firmino. I think the way it would go down is that Firmino drops into the 10 role and plays behind the front 3, which in a lot of ways is essentially what he does anyways, he is always dropping back into midfield so he could fill the void left from Coutinho leaving for Barcelona and allow Werner to lead the line. They could also change the formation from the 4-3-3 and go to a 4-2-3-1. Play Keita and Jorginho as the two, then you play Mane, Firmino, and Salah as the 3 with Werner leading the line. Werner’s movement would create space for the attacking trio behind them. Firmino would probably drop more into midfield at times to help create even more space. This is actually how I would go and I think would make the attack so much stronger. Liverpool would never bring in just any striker, it is always going to be someone in the Werner mold, someone who has movement that fits with what the Reds already do, so they don’t have to deviate too much from what they do which is successful. It also doesn’t hurt to bring in a clinical finisher, which Werner is. Some folks still think that’s something Liverpool needs to win the league. I don’t necessarily agree but I obviously won’t hurt. Doing this would make the Reds a stronger attacking side. Scary, right? If you throw Werner and Keita into the side who I said have an unbelievable chemistry with one another if you watch RBL play and then get a Jorginho, this team all of a sudden becomes stupid scary. Sure, Pep’s Manchester City are always going to be tough, but if these types of things happen this summer the expectations for ending the title drought will be sky high for Liverpool next season. We have no clue what is going to happen, so buckle up this could be one helluva ride from now, through the end of the season, and into the summer transfer market till we get to next season. Honestly I can’t wait.
PS, I will be doing something about the targets that we are linked to right now in the next couple days and which ones we should really zero in on.