Havertz, Werner, Sancho or Mbappé — if Liverpool can only have one…

Columnist Matt Ramirez explains why Leverkusen’s young German sensation is the marquee signing the Reds should be looking to bring in.

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With the world currently engulfed in a coronavirus crisis, football clubs are in a state of vulnerability. Due to this, it is becoming ever more likely that the 2020 summer transfer window is going to be, well, far from exciting. 

Where previously I thought Liverpool would splash the cash all over the pitch and build a ‘FIFA Career Mode’ style team, I’m now of the opinion that if we’re lucky we’ll bring in one marquee signing and that’s about it. Maybe one or two squad players, but only one really exciting transfer. 

With that in mind, if it were up to me, the player I would have on the first flight to Anfield would be none other than the boy wonder currently plying his trade in the Bundesliga — Kai Havertz.

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room. Kylian Mbappé is a supreme footballer — the phrase ‘generational talent’ gets thrown around a lot nowadays and most of the time it is unwarranted, but this kid is exactly that. He will undoubtedly add at least one Ballon d’Or award to his personal trophy cabinet in the next few years.


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With this being said, I wanted to keep this realistic and, in all honesty, I do not see us signing this beast of a player. To be honest, due to the coronavirus and the economic hardship it is causing, I don’t see Mbappé leaving Paris Saint-Germain for a few years. He and Neymar are probably stuck in the French capital for the foreseeable. 

Anyways, went off on a bit of a tangent there, back to the topic at hand. Kai Havertz. 

I made this decision on the basis that we keep all of our starting players this summer and, as we have both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané running our flanks, the omission of Jadon Sancho is a rather obvious one. I suppose the big question is, why Havertz over Timo Werner? The main reason is that we wouldn’t need to change our system — he could, in theory, just slot in.

Timo Werner is a No.9 through and through. He leads the line, gets at defenders and scores the goals. If you look at Liverpool, this isn’t exactly the model that Jürgen Klopp uses. The Reds operate using a 4-3-3 with Roberto Firmino as our ‘striker’, but he operates more as a ‘false nine’ as opposed to our main point of attack.

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Widely loved by Liverpool fans, Bobby is the glue of our team. Yes, he gets criticised for his lack of goals but he is definitely the catalyst behind our attacking force.

Our midfield receives unnecessary criticism for lacking creativity. However, with Bobby in the team, Klopp has been able to load his midfield with workhorses as Bobby provides that creative spark in one way or another. With Werner up top this whole system would need to be altered, either through the purchase of a creative midfielder or by a switch in formation, most likely being a 4-2-3-1 with Bobby dropping to and attacking midfield role and Werner taking top spot.

Yes, in theory, this would be amazing but, despite the criticism levelled towards it, I am a big fan of a Fabinho/Hendo/Gini midfield three and a change in formation will see one of these lads dropped. Moreover, I am a big lover of the 4-3-3 — it’s wickedly effective in terms of how we play and I’d rather things stay as they are.

The signing of Havertz however, would not cause any of these systematic headaches for Klopp and his backroom staff.

The young German is an advanced midfielder who can also play both on the wing and as a ‘normal’ central midfielder. Moreover, the 20-year-old has also shown he has the capability to play at centre-forward if need be. Anyone else getting early Bobby flashbacks?

The Leverkusen sensation is a creative genius, racking up 30 goals and 15 assists in the past two seasons combined and, as a result, could slot in to replace Bobby at false nine, out wide for Salah or as one of our midfielders either side of Fabinho. He is versatile, and that’s a trait Klopp is known to love in his players.

In addition to this, Havertz’s current side is quite chaotic in terms of how it plays, very similar to Liverpool in the early years of Klopp and, as such, it can be argued that the young midfield star is, if not already, perfect for our side.

Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below!

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