Speaking exclusively to FootballFanCast, former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor has delivered his verdict on Timo Werner opting to join Chelsea in this summer transfer window instead of the Reds.
Reports in recent months had suggested Jurgen Klopp’s side were the outright front-runners for the Germany international’s signature, and that the ex-RB Leipzig star was keen on making the move to Anfield if they exercised his release clause.
However, that failed to materialise, with Premier League rivals Chelsea swooping in and snaring one of the Reds’ long-term transfer targets. Despite missing out on the German’s signature though, Mellor has insisted it is not as big of a blow as some people might think.
He said: “I feel like Liverpool are in a position where we’re not jealous of who other teams are signing because of what Jurgen has put in place. There’s no ‘I wish we would have got him’. There was a lot of talk about Timo Werner and I was really excited to see how he would do in the Premier League, I thought he was brilliant in the Bundesliga. He’s a top star for Germany and I really thought he could do well at Liverpool.
“But again, how is he going to get into that front three? So his game-time was always going to be perhaps limited. So he was the one I was interested to see how he’ll do, but he just couldn’t have his game-time guaranteed at Liverpool. So I can understand why he chose to go somewhere else.”
There’s no questioning Werner’s ability. The German netted a ridiculous 34 goals in just 45 games in the 2019/2020 season, and whilst he may not have gotten on the score-sheet in his first two Premier League games with Chelsea, he has earned two penalties, including one against Liverpool themselves.
But like Mellor alludes to, it would have been impossible for Klopp to convince a player of his quality to potentially settle for a place on the bench. After all, the Reds have won the Champions League and the Premier League in the past two seasons with the same devastating front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
So whilst it would certainly have been an exciting signing for Liverpool fans, it shouldn’t really be considered as a missed opportunity.