Robbie Fowler has revealed he can not understand the “meltdown” from some Liverpool fans after the club recently missed out to Chelsea on the signing of Timo Werner.
The Reds had long been admirers of the RB Leipzig forward, and with the player himself expressing his desire to move to Anfield, a transfer seemed a formality mere weeks ago.
However, despite the deal costing what would seem to be an extremely good value fee of around £50m due to his release clause, Jurgen Klopp’s side refused to stump up the fee, paving the way for Chelsea to swoop.
The inaction caused a wave dismay and anger from Liverpool fans on social media, but club legend Fowler believes The Reds were thinking two steps ahead in their decision not to pull the trigger.
Outlining several reasons why Liverpool made the correct call, Fowler wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror: “There has been so much rumour around his intended destination for months now, with my former club at the heart of that, but most of the other big names in European football have been linked to him.
“I’ve also seen the meltdown from some Liverpool fans when they realised he’s probably not leaving RB Leipzig for Anfield after all.
“It makes it seem as though he’s a Marco van Basten, a world-class player who would walk into any side.
“For the life of me, I don’t know why. I’ve watched him a fair few times and there are things about his game I like and admire.
“But does he influence games consistently enough? Not for me. Does he match up to the players you are signing him to challenge and replace? Not at Liverpool. Maybe at Chelsea.
“And that’s the important point I think supporters forget. I’ve heard so many people complaining about Liverpool owners not splashing the cash, not diving in on Werner when he’s a ‘steal’ at £52million. Is he really, though?
“By the standards of the last couple of years, maybe. Maybe not. It’s still a fairly hefty price, when you compare him to the fees Liverpool paid for Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino, who all cost £10m-£20m less.
“Yet now, with the football world in financial meltdown because of a global pandemic, every single person connected with the game knows there is an absolute certainty of a massive recalibration of the transfer market.
“It’s only supporters who don’t see that. They see one of the promising young strikers in Europe apparently being linked to every club – and then not going to their club.
“This is the reality – all those other clubs, Barcelona, Liverpool, Juventus, Real Madrid, Man City and United have looked at him and thought, in the current market, his release clause fee is too high.
“How do we know that? Because otherwise they would have activated it.
“So you’re left with Chelsea, who through a unique set of circumstances have almost £60m to spend because of a deal from last summer in selling Alvaro Morata to Atletico Madrid that only kicks in this summer.
“And they will offload about £300,000 a week from their wage bill – perhaps double that – from players who are out of contract, such as Pedro and Willian, as well as players they may be able to get rid of.
“If Liverpool value a player as essential, they will pay the premium – as they did for Virgil van Dijk and Alisson. Both were world-record fees in their position at the time.
“So I stand by my analysis. I’m not sure the fuss is worth it about Werner. I’m not sure he’s a Liverpool player.”