As news of Bayern Munich's approach for favoured Jürgen Klopp target Julian Brandt began to spread on Wednesday, it was only a matter of time before a new Bundesliga attacker would be linked with Liverpool. As it turns out, that time was roughly five hours, and the rumoured target is... actually a pretty reasonable one, and one who would be a good fit for the Reds.
RB Leipzig's Timo Werner has been a BuLi regular since he was 17, racking up over 100 first team appearances for childhood club Stuttgart by the time he turned 20. He began his career as a speedy winger for Die Schwaben, but has gradually drifted centrally, culminating in his ongoing explosive season for surprise package Leipzig, where he has notched 14 goals an 4 assists in 1800 minutes, averaging a goal involvement every 100 minutes he's on the pitch, while converting at a superstar 23.6%.
This increase from his previous average of a goal involvement every 244 minutes and conversion rate of 10% mainly comes down the fact that he has been made a full-time striker in Leipzig's counter-attacking 4-4-2 system, providing him with a higher volume of quality chances, and relying less on strikes from outside the box. As such, a complete reversion to the mean seems unlikely, assuming Werner continues in a central role, and his current production might be a good indication of his long-term projection.
The German international — who has notched 3 goals in his 7 caps for Die Mannschaft — stands six feet tall, possesses excellent straight-line speed, and is genuinely two-footed, both when dribbling and lining up a shot. His past out wide makes him a versatile option, and his experience in a counter-attacking system — paired with his youthful vigour and athleticism — means he can likely slip into Klopp's favoured gegenpressing style effortlessly.
With the potential signing makes all these kinds of sense, it is only natural that there are obstacles to be found, and as with Naby Keïta, Leipzig's solid financial and competitive position are the main ones. The Red Bull-backed up-and-comers sit second in the Bundesliga, with Champions League football next season as good as guaranteed, and Werner's contract runs until 2020, putting the club under no pressure to sell. If the Reds can muster up a triple temptation of Jürgen Klopp, big bucks and a Champions League run, however, turning the player's head could be enough to push a deal through.
If Julian Brandt were to slip away, Werner would be a terrific consolation price. A twofer wouldn't go unappreciated either.