For months, Liverpool had been linked with the Germany international, one of the country’s hottest prospects.
Jurgen Klopp was a known admirer. It was clear the player was ready to make a move. And many Reds supporters were hugely enthused at the prospect of acquiring such a burgeoning talent.
Then it emerged the much-mooted transfer wasn’t going to happen.
Cue the meltdown from those expectant Liverpool fans who had already got the welcoming party sorted.
Except this isn’t Timo Werner we’re talking about.
This is Mario Gotze in 2016.
Klopp was keen to be reunited with his former Borussia Dortmund favourite, who was struggling for game time after switching to Bayern Munich. Liverpool were in pole position to sign the playmaker until defeat in the Europa League final to Sevilla meant there was no Champions League football on offer.
The transfer had gone. Gotze eventually ended up back at Dortmund later that same summer. And even before then, Liverpool had wanted to sign Brazil winger Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January only for the player to join Chinese side Jiangsu Suning.
Twelve months on, the Reds had been linked with another Germany international, another of the country’s hottest prospects.
Klopp was again a known admirer. And many Reds supporters were once more excited at the prospect of the club snapping up a young hopeful.
This time, the player in question was Julian Brandt, who resisted overtures from Liverpool to instead stay at Bayer Leverkusen, later explaining he was swayed by the promise of regular first-team football.
Brandt remained for another two years before joining Gotze at Dortmund.
In successive summer transfer windows, Liverpool were forced to look elsewhere after Klopp, for differing reasons, was unable to snap up his initial preferred target.
Instead of Gotze, the Reds turned to Southampton winger Sadio Mane. And rather than Brandt, Liverpool channeled their energies into signing Mohamed Salah from Roma.
And later that summer, signing Hull City left-back Andy Robertson became the focus after it became clear Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon wasn’t available.
You can see where this is heading.
The news the Reds were unwilling to make concrete their interest in Werner – and allow Chelsea to this week trigger his £54million release clause before RB Leipzig’s June 15 deadline expired – caused predictable angst among the hypercritical and most concerned sections of the fanbase.
Most blamed Fenway Sports Group for not handing Klopp the money for a player he clearly admired. Some suggested a lack of ambition from the European, world and soon-to-be English champions. A couple even pointed the finger at the Reds boss.
All, though, were in agreement Liverpool…
Read More: FSG and Jurgen Klopp have shown what Liverpool can do next after Timo Werner 2020-06-06 07:19:13