March 16, 2017
Liverpool are reportedly interested in Timo Werner and Naby Keita of RB Leipzig and have scouted the former for more than a year.
That’s according to the MailOnline’s Simon Jones, who reported that Werner “fits the profile of player they want this summer,” with the striker catching the eye thanks to his pace and ability to slot into “a high-energy, pressing style similar to that used by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.”
The Reds are in need of more firepower this summer as Daniel Sturridge is a poor fit under the German while Divock Origi isn’t especially prolific.
As such, the Reds have ostensibly played with a front three of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. While all three are excellent players and Liverpool are the Premier League’s top scorers with 60 goals, having a natural, clinical centre-forward who fits in Klopp’s system could be invaluable.
Werner, who turned 21 earlier this month, has racked up 14 goals and six assists in the Bundesliga this term, putting him behind only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski and Anthony Modeste in the scoring charts.
However, it’s worth noting it took him over 100 appearances for his previous team Stuttgart to achieve the same goal tally, per DW Sports:
DW Sports @dw_sports
101 appearances with Stuttgart: 14 goals
23 appearances with Leipzig: 14 goals
Timo Werner moved to the right club.
3/3/2017, 8:33:36 PM
His improvement has been marked this season, and it’s clear he has real potential. But some caution should also be employed if Leipzig demand a hefty fee for his services—which is likely to happen if they entertain offers for him at all—as he has just one prolific campaign under his belt.
Midfielder Keita is also an excellent prospect, and like Werner, he’s played a large part in firing Leipzig to second in the Bundesliga.
Here’s a look at his numbers for the season, courtesy of Squawka:
|Keita 2016-17 Bundesliga Stats|
There’s room for improvement with the 22-year-old’s passing and tackling—he’s attempted 104 and won just less than a third—but he’s a creative player who’s unafraid to help out defensively.
Football writer Jack Lusby believes he would be a good fit at Anfield:
Jack Lusby @jacklusby_
Can imagine Klopp seeing Keita as a similar midfielder to Wijnaldum. Definitely flexible enough to play as balanced box-to-box.
3/7/2017, 5:43:56 PM
Indeed, he’d be a fine acquisition for Liverpool, and his addition to the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana would give Klopp an array of options and plenty of strength in depth.
Both Werner and Keita only joined Leipzig in the summer, and given their success this season, they will be reluctant to part with their best assets—they might be tempted by Liverpool, but prising them away will be difficult.