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Everything pointed towards Timo Werner becoming a Liverpool player in the very near future. Countless reports claim the Reds had until a certain date in April to secure the services of the Germany international for a bargain fee believed to be in the region of £40million.
According to The Athletic, the Premier League champions-elect still lead the race to sign the 24-year-old. But with football halted for an indefinite period, transfers have been paused.
Werner still might end up calling Anfield home but nobody knows when this might be. However, with the help of Football Manager, we’re able to find out the impact the RB Leipzig man could have on Merseyside.
Using the latest iteration of the Football Manager series, we restarted the 2019/20 campaign. Werner made the switch to Anfield for £40million and we simulated the season to see how it worked out.
The results were surprising…
Liverpool won their first-ever Premier League title. And they did so at a canter. They finished 12 points clear of runners-up Manchester City and 24 points ahead of fourth-place Arsenal. It wasn't a record-breaking campaign but a 94-point haul isn't to be sniffed at.
Werner got off to a dream start to life with the Reds, netting the winner in Liverpool's opening three matches of the Premier League season. All three came via the penalty spot but he was the difference-maker in victories over City, Chelsea and Bournemouth.
However, he only added three further goals in 18 appearances, finishing the domestic season with six strikes in 21 appearances and eight in all competitions.
Somewhat surprisingly, Liverpool adopted a 4-4-2 system with Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino leading the line. Werner was used on the left of the midfield four as an inverted winger with Mohamed Salah on the right. Xherdan Shaqiri‘s form allowed Salah to be deployed as a centre-forward on occasion, too. Takumi Minamino, Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all played in wide areas from time to time.
One thing was for sure, though, Werner was by no means a guaranteed starter at Anfield.
The Reds did well in cup competitions. They romped to victory in the Club World Cup final, beating Flamengo 6-1. They did, however, need six second-half goals to clinch the win after going into the break 1-0 down.
The Merseysiders lost on penalties in the Carabao Cup final…to Everton. Manchester United knocked them out of the FA Cup in the semi-final while Ajax scored twice at Anfield to claim an away goals victory in their Champions League quarter-final clash.
From a club point of view, this was one of their most successful seasons since the Premier League's inception. But from Werner's point of view, it was anything but. His worst goal return since his second to last season with VfB Stuttgart wasn't what many would've envisaged.
Furthermore, the explosive forward is currently unhappy with how he's being used, claiming he prefers to play as a striker. Jürgen, you have been warned…