Liverpool should pursue Timo Werner without hesitation

Liverpool should pursue Timo Werner without hesitation

Despite the break in Premier League football, the saga involving Timo Werner and Liverpool continues to rumble on. Several media outlets, including the Mirror, report that the German striker has held a virtual meeting with Jurgen Klopp. This would show that the interest from the current European champions is genuine. There is a release clause in the RB Leipzig forward’s contract, currently standing at £52 million, per Sky Sports. The amount of noise in the media regarding this potential transfer shows that is a possibility, but the current situation may derail the deal, as reported on Wednesday by the Mirror.

It would be a hugely exciting transfer for Liverpool should it go ahead. Werner has established himself as one of the best strikers in Europe during his time at RB Leipzig. He is certainly the star player at the controversial German club, as displayed by his influence this season, with 30 goals across all competitions at the time of writing. This includes four in the Champions League, as he helped his team reach the quarter-finals before the competition was halted.

Werner is currently averaging a goal every 100.4 minutes across the Bundesliga and Champions League. To show a brief comparison with his potential Liverpool team-mates, it is a much healthier strike rate than Sadio Mane (169.8), Mohamed Salah (149.1) and Roberto Firmino (339) during the 2019/20 season. It is unlikely that the German international would be signed to replace any of the starting trio, although he would provide a much needed rotation option and a different profile of attacker.

Firmino is currently the player that starts in the ‘striker’ role at Anfield, but he is far from a traditional striker. The Brazilian offers a lot more to the transition phase and he is vital when the Reds are out of possession due to his energy and pressing qualities. In the Champions League, he averages 2 ball recoveries per game, while Werner averages 0.7. The 24-year-old would likely improve on this part of his game under Klopp, but he would need time to adapt to the system. This is a common theme in recent Liverpool signings, as Andrew Robertson, Naby Keita and Fabinho among others have needed time to break into the first team.

To dig further into Werner’s attacking numbers, it is obvious that he is one of the leading players in the Bundesliga. He has an expected goals (xG) total of 20.55 and expected assists total (xA) of 8.64, per Understat. In the league, he is ranked second in the first metric and sixth in the second metric. This emphasises that he has a lot more to his game in terms of link-up play and creativity.

When comparing his xG to his total goals scored, he has scored 3.45 more than the average player would score from the chances that he has had. This would support that he is a good finisher in the final third. Since his move to RB Leipzig, he has had a total xG of 66.03 in the Bundesliga, while he has scored 74 times during this period. This, again, emphasises his finishing ability over a longer period and shows that he can sustain his goal-scoring form over time.

Due to the Bundesliga being the only current top European league in play, there will be a greater microscope on Werner’s performances. This made his recent hat-trick against Mainz even more impressive, as he was a constant threat with his movement in the final third, albeit the defending was less than desired. He scored a hat-trick, but it could have been even more, as he attempted eight shots on goal. As a team, RB Leipzig attempted 20, which underlines that he is often the one getting the chances.

Timo Werner has proven that he is one of the most promising strikers in Europe and there will be a lot of interest in him once the transfer window opens. Liverpool would make a statement if they were to sign the German international to add competition to the forward line. They currently lack proven quality outside of the starting trio and this would solve that issue. If they have the finances to do the deal, they should pursue it without hesitation, even in the current situation.