Timo Werner and a £52m move to Liverpool.
A transfer rumour that has got to the point of irritation, as endless amounts of reporting continue to swirl into circles of, well, absolute nothingness.
What we do know is that Werner likes Liverpool, Liverpool like Werner, his RB Leipzig contract contains a £52m release clause and a deal could – coronavirus completely ruining the finances of football around the world permitting – be done.
Timo Werner has unfollowed RB Leipzig on Twitter after they mocked Liverpool losing to Watford with a GIF of him!
Oh the drama! ?pic.twitter.com/8xo2juBD9d
— 90min (@90min_Football) March 3, 2020
So rather than wait for something to happen in the real world, 90min has decided to go virtual. And by virtual, we mean find any excuse to boot up Football Manager 2020 and move Werner to his brand new home on Merseyside.
Why have we done that? Because we want to know if this is all going to be worth it, obvs. So let’s find out if we worked his way into the side, scored goals for fun or was just another Titi Camara…
Welcome to Liverpool!
No funny business or snide transfer dealings, just straight up £52m British pounds deposited into the bank account of the most controversial Bundesliga side going.
But Timo doesn’t need to worry about Leipzig anymore, it’s time to focus his energy on nailing a regular place in the team! First up, it’s the Community Shield against Manchester City at Wembley.
Good news, he’s in the side – at the expense of Roberto Firmino – and Werner scores on his competitive debut, helping the Reds down Pep’s boys 3-1.
A bright start to the domestic season follows, with Werner rotating his place with Roberto Firmino. Makes sense for Jurgen Klopp to keep rotating the pair, Liverpool have plenty of games to be getting through this season.
January swings around and it’s time to take a more detailed look at Werner’s progress. His goal return is impressive to say the least – 9 goals in his first 15 competitive outings – but his number of appearances have started to sag behind the preferred trio of Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Ah, he’s picked up an injury. That’ll explain it. A torn hamstring too, which isn’t a particularly easy injury to overcome and will result in a couple of months – at least – on the treatment table. Shucks.
We move swiftly on to the season’s end – how did Werner recover? Did he regain his place in the side? Did Liverpool win the Premier League title?
The answer is yes to two of those three questions.
Maybe a summer to refresh – and Euro 2020 to impress at (yep, it’s still happening in the virtual world) – will galvanise Werner and spur him on to oust Firmino from the starting lineup.
Then again, maybe not.
It’s 1 January and Werner has made just six starts in all competitions. Firmino has made 24, Salah 28 and Mane 27. I think Klopp might have some trust issues.
At the end of the month, there’s even some tentative transfer interest from Bayern. I know, you can’t write these kind of scripts!
Die Roten opt against making a move for Werner – he’s worth £68m now you see – and instead Germany’s main striker is left to fight his way back into Liverpool’s plans.
The problem is, he can’t – well, not properly anyway. The season concludes with Werner very much still on the periphery, making just ten competitive starts all season. He pops up from the bench 19 times, but is only able to offer up seven goals for the campaign.
Still, he’s a Premier League winner once more – as Liverpool seal back-to-back titles.
Into season three at Anfield, and Werner really needs to knuckle down here – or face coming to terms with the fact that he’s not ever going to oust Firmino and co.
One thing the club don’t need to do mind you is strengthen up top. Divock Origi is also an option – christ, he’s been getting more game time than Werner – so Klopp really doesn’t need to unnecessarily splash any mo…
BUGGER IT, LIVERPOOL HAVE SIGNED ERLING HAALAND!
Yep, the Norwegian has swapped Dortmund for Liverpool, after obviously listening to his former youth coach tell 90min this week that he’d like him to go there.
Haaland’s arrival is what I would call, when I was younger anyway, bad news bears. No idea what it actually meant, but it’s a polite way of saying sh*te, this isn’t going well.
And not going well is exactly how we can describe Werner’s third season at Anfield. In fact, he’s probably regretting signing a five-year deal now, because he’s still got another two years of potential misery ahead of him.
Why is it so bad, you ask? This is why.
Werner isn’t playing and, worse still, Liverpool aren’t missing him one little bit. A third consecutive Premier League title is secure and everybody else is having a whale of a time in front of goal.
Surely someone will come and rescue Timo from this nightmare?
Nope, they won’t. And the worst is yet to come (anything for a Chris Jericho reference).
Into the final year of Werner’s contract – summer 2024 can’t come quick enough – and I think we know how this season is going to play out.
So we’ll save ourselves the aggro of finding out how Liverpool got on without him, as this is actually one time where the player is bigger than the club.
No, Timo hasn’t been playing – don’t be daft, he’s completely been cut adrift now – football, but he has secured a move to the……ZOO?
Yep, that’s right – Werner’s joining Zebre, the hipster Football Manager 2020 name for Juventus. Finally some respite, from a club who transfer listed Werner at the beginning of December 2023 and tried to flog him for NOTHING – so they didn’t have to pay his big boy wages until the summer.
July swings around and Werner waves goodbye to Merseyside, with the cherished memory of finishing the season with 18 goals at Premier League 2 level. Here’s his numbers – the proper ones – for his five year stay in England.
Appearances in all competitions: 82
Goals in all competitions: 26
Assists in all competitions: 6
We finish with a word of advice for Werner. Don’t do it mate, you didn’t even make the Germany squad for Euro 2024!