عالمية عالمية

Liverpool made £120m Diogo Jota transfer decision at perfect time and Chelsea prove it

There was a time when Liverpool fans would have bitten your hand off to have Timo Werner or Kai Havertz in Jurgen Klopp’s team.

The Reds were repeatedly linked with the German duo for most of 2019/20 as they marched towards the Premier League title, and were expected to make a move for the former prior to the outburst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ultimately forced to remain patient in the transfer market as they reassessed their financial situation, Liverpool watched on as Chelsea parted with a whopping £120m to bring the pair to Stamford Bridge.

But now, a year on, the Reds will have little complaints about missing out on Werner and Havertz.

The duo did show glimpses of their talent during their maiden season in London, both scoring vital goals in their Champions League run as they ultimately finished the season as European champions, with the latter scoring the winning goal against Manchester City.

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Yet they have not exploded onto the Premier League scene the way Chelsea would have hoped.

Werner scored six Premier League goals and made 29 league starts in his first season at the club, returning 12 goals from 52 outings.

Meanwhile, Havertz returned four goals from 18 league starts, delivering nine from 45 appearances in all competitions.

Yet such totals pale in comparison with their returns for RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen that attracted the interest of Liverpool and prompted Chelsea to part with £120m in the first place.

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But that has been because they have ultimately failed to be given a clear position at Stamford Bridge, both being chopped and changed as they were utilised upfront, out-wide or in midfield.

And it was a similar story for them both as Germany lost to England in the Euro 2020 round-of-16 on Tuesday as both started on either flank, with Werner, handed his first start of the tournament, moved centrally before being withdrawn prematurely after 68 minutes.

The duo did have the Germans’ two best chances with the striker unable to beat Jordan Pickford when one-on-one and Havertz forcing a fine fingertip save with a long-range effort early in the second half.

But, by playing out-wide, they continued to look like a striker and a number 10 robbed of their best positions and shoehorned into an unwanted system.

In contrast, Liverpool can feel rather proud of their actual attacking addition from last summer in the form of Diogo Jota.

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Enjoying more of an impact at Euro 2020 before exiting at the same stage, the Portugal international looks equally comfortable anywhere across the front three with his 13 goals from 30 appearances an impressive return from his maiden season at Anfield.

Brought in for a third of what Chelsea spent on their German duo, it was money well-spent for Klopp as the former Wolves man made an immediate impact and heads into the new season capable of becoming the first man to truly break up Liverpool’s front three.

Of course, it is too early to write off Werner and Havertz at Chelsea.

After all, at 25 and 22, their best days are still ahead of them and they’ll be looking to enjoy a more stable season under Thomas Tuchel as they build on the Champions League triumph.

But while they might go on to enjoy successful Premier League careers at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool can rest easy knowing that rather than recruit Werner or Havertz, in Jota they struck the right deal to bring the right player in at the right time.

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