Former Germany captain and World Cup winner Lothar Matthäus has said he would advise Liverpool target Timo Werner to stay in the Bundesliga for another season, while also admitting he is ‘sure’ the RB Leipzig forward will end up in the Premier League eventually.
24-year-old Werner has been a Liverpool target for some time, with regular reports suggesting he is Jurgen Klopp and the Reds’ recruitment team’s top target for the next transfer window.
The Germany international, who has also been linked with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea, has scored 21 goals in the soon-to-restart Bundesliga in 2019/20, while he became the youngest player in the competition’s history to register 200 appearances back in November.
With Liverpool still seen as frontrunners to eventually win the transfer race for Werner, despite growing uncertainty over finances brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Matthäus – a seven-time Bundesliga winner with Bayern Munich – has claimed the Leipzig forward would fit in Klopp’s team. However, he added that it may not be the best move for the player yet.
“I think he is a Liverpool player,” Matthäus told 90min. “He has this mentality, this style. He’s a great player, a speedy player and Jurgen Klopp likes speedy players in the offence.
“But there’s another thing. Timo Werner likes to play. In Leipzig he has his position. He’s a fixed player in the system of Julian Nagelsmann and, sure, Liverpool is one of the best clubs in the world, with Klopp and a very good team, but Werner likes to play the big games.
“Liverpool already have Salah, Mane and Firmino and when all these players are ready to play, maybe Werner is on the bench and a player like Werner has to play. He likes to play. He loves football.”
The 1990 Ballon d’Or winner added that he would advise Werner to plan for another season in Germany before an inevitable move abroad.
He said: “I think maybe it’s better for him to have one more year in Leipzig to get more experience. This year you can see the steps he’s made ahead, not only with his number of goals but how he’s playing.
“He can play for Liverpool but he will be unhappy if he has to sit on the bench for the big games.
“If I were his manager telling him what to do I would say ‘hey, play one more year in Leipzig. We will be in the Champions League again, you’ll play more in the national team and then maybe you can go’.
“But sure he will not finish his career in the Bundesliga, or at RB Leipzig. I’m sure he will soon be a player in the Premier League but I hope not next season.”
Reports earlier this month suggested that Liverpool are ‘virtually certain’ to put their big summer transfer plans on ice due to the financial impact of the pandemic, though rumours of the Reds’ interest in Werner continue to swirl.
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