Liverpool Could Risk Derailing Jürgen Klopp's Anfield Revolution by Signing Timo Werner

Ben Carter
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​Timo Werner has the world at his feet.

The RB Leipzig striker has emerged as one of the most in-demand players across Europe, with the continent's biggest teams fighting it out between them over who will be able to lure the 24-year-old away from Saxony.

It's easy to see why too. Since joining Red Bull's Bundesliga project, Werner has been directly involved in 127 goals in 150 appearances, even impressing at international level where he's scored 11 times for Die Mannschaft.

Bayern Munich have unsurprisingly been linked over the years and they were even believed to have a deal lined up for this summer as the striker neared the end of his contract, but Werner made a U-turn earlier this season and opted to extend his deal.

The Bavarians are still keeping tabs on Werner thanks to his release clause, while Chelsea have also been mentioned as a potential destination for him, but it's been links with Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool which have gained the most traction.

It would be a move which seems to make a lot of sense for Wener as well. 

The 24-year-old thrives in a fast-paced system and has his own highlight reel from devastating counter-attacks, while his development under Red Bull's ethos, working under the likes of Ralph Hasenhüttl, Ralf Rangnick and most recently Julian Nagelsmann, would be invaluable in transitioning to Klopp's system at Anfield.

On the surface of things, there's no reason why it wouldn't make sense for Liverpool either. The club don't really have a recognised striker they can rely on - Roberto Firmino spent the majority of his career as an attacking midfielder before moving to Merseyside - while Werner's versatility would even give them more options out wide.

But for all the quality which Werner would bring to the north-west, RB Leipzig's star man could also be the chink in Liverpool's armour which brings their current rise to the top of European football's hierarchy to an abrupt halt.

It's Liverpool's threat from wide areas which has received the most praise over the last few seasons, but Firmino's role as the glue which brings it all together has been invaluable.

Werner is comfortably the better goalscorer and he certainly isn't a one-trick pony, but almost 80 per cent of Werner's 95 shots this season have come from his right foot, compared to just 48 per cent of Firmino's 87, while that gap gets even wider when looking at how each of their goals has been scored.

The biggest challenge Liverpool would face adapting to Werner, however, would be his ability on the ball compared to Firmino, both with the German's interplay with his teammates and how he carries the ball on his own.

At Liverpool, Firmino acts as an unorthodox striker for the betterment of the team as a whole, bringing out the best of Sadio ManéMohamed Salah and even the midfielders who arrive in support of their front three.

But it's chalk and cheese compared to what's going on in Leipzig. They're certainly not a one-man team, but in attack, the likes of Yussuf Poulsen and Patrik Schick don't offer the same constant threat that Werner's raw pace brings.

Of course, Werner would still be playing at an extremely high level even if he was slower, but he doesn't come close to matching Mané or Firmino from a technical standpoint.

Even positionally, Werner has a tendency to drift out wide - almost always to the left - which can cause problems for Leipzig quite often, resulting in them overloading on one side of the pitch after the ball has been turned over.

The Germany international is still very much an individual at RB Leipzig, and although he's formed fantastic partnerships over the years, the club feel more like they set up with 10 players, plus Werner - lacking the same sort of cohesion across the board that you see at Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.

At Liverpool, and even for Klopp specifically, that cohesion throughout the squad has been paramount in their success over the last two seasons and they should be avoiding any players who could put that togetherness at risk.

Werner might prove to be a bargain for one of European football's best teams this summer.

But he won't have a guaranteed spot in Liverpool's starting lineup next season, and even if the pros and cons of signing him weight each other out, Klopp won't want to make any signings which could prove to be a speedbump in their road to becoming a generation-defining team.

For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

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