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Liverpool loyalty to Origi prevented them from signing 'brilliant' Werner, claims ex-Reds striker Owen

10:56 GMT+4 06/07/2020
Timo Werner RB Leipzig 2019-20
The former Anfield forward was frustrated to see one of the most prolific front men in Europe sign for Chelsea instead of his old club

Liverpool's loyalty to Divock Origi prevented them from signing "brilliant" Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, according to Michael Owen.

Werner was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool earlier this year, and he fueled transfer speculation by publicly expressing his belief that he would be a good fit for Jurgen Klopp's system at Anfield.

The highly-rated Germany international was tipped to make his way to Merseyside this summer, but Chelsea stole a march on their Premier League rivals.

The Blues snapped up Werner for a fee of £47.5 million ($59m) on June 18, tieing him down to a lucrative five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

Bayern, Real Madrid and Barcelona had also been linked with the 24-year-old, but he ultimately decided that west London was the best place for him to continue his development.

Owen thinks Liverpool decided against making changes to their attacking ranks after handing Origi a new long-term deal in July 2019.

The former Reds striker believes his old club made a mistake in allowing Werner to slip through the net, having placed their faith in the man who scored their second goal in last season's Champions League final.

Owen told Premier League Productions: "Will Origi and Takumi Minamino be there next season? Yes, they will. Origi’s just signed a new contract and [Takumi] Minamino’s only just signed.

"They are there and they’re fixed but that doesn’t mean you can’t question whether they should be. Origi signing a new long-term deal, Liverpool were loyal to him, weren’t they?

"He’d done what he’d done [in the Champions League] and all of a sudden they thought he’s done that so you have to give them a new contract. That’s now prevented them from going and spending big money on a back-up striker.

"Timo Werner was obviously a player that Liverpool were linked to and he’s eventually gone to Chelsea. I think that type of player would have been brilliant for Liverpool.

"They signed Origi on a long-term contract that virtually ruled out a back-up striker and I’m not sure that they don’t need a better one."