News Matches

Werner snubbed because Klopp doesn’t want a squad of superstars at Liverpool – Barnes

10:35 BST 22/06/2020
Timo Werner RB Leipzig
The Reds legend believes no move was made for the Germany international forward now heading to Chelsea as “harmony” is vital at Anfield

Liverpool passed up the opportunity to move for Timo Werner because Jurgen Klopp does not like to have “lots of superstars in the team”, says Reds legend John Barnes.

A move to Anfield appeared to be on the cards for the Germany international forward at one stage. With Werner having opened the door for fellow countryman Klopp to make a move, Merseyside looked like being his most logical landing spot in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old is, however, set to trade life at RB Leipzig for Chelsea, with the Blues confirming that they have reached a deal for the prolific frontman.

Questions have been asked of whether Liverpool will live to regret their decision not to bolster their attacking ranks with another proven performer. Barnes, though, is among those who feel that the Reds have made the right call and that Klopp’s decision-making must be respected.

He believes that the arrival of Werner, as competition for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, could have impacted squad “harmony” and proved “problematic” for a team edging their way towards a first Premier League title.

The Liverpool legend told Sky Sports when quizzed on the Werner snub: “Well once again you're talking about the harmony within the team. You're talking about a world-class player who demands to play every week and if he's not going to play every week, is that going to upset the spirit in the camp?

“I don't know if Timo Werner was given assurances or he feels he can play for Chelsea every week rather than coming here, but you've got to be careful and I know Jurgen doesn't like to have a big squad and lots of superstars in the team.

“Keeping them happy can be quite problematic and we’ve seen every now and again, like the Barcelona game when they didn’t have [Roberto] Firmino or Salah and [Divock] Origi can come in and did the job.”

Liverpool have been linked with a number of alternative options when it comes to finding more firepower, with Wolves winger Adama Traore and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho among those said to be in their sights.

Klopp also showed in a 0-0 Merseyside derby draw with Everton, in what was the Reds’ first game back after a coronavirus-enforced break, that he already has the ability to shuffle his pack in the final third – with January signing Takumi Minamino starting in place of the rested Salah at Goodison Park.