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GLEN JOHNSON: Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson shares his thoughts on the prospect of Timo Werner lining out for The Blues and how it could prove to be a very good deal for Frank Lampard.

Nothing neutral about Merseyside derby

It was good to see the news that next weekend’s Merseyside derby will be played at Goodison Park and not at a neutral venue. It almost wouldn’t be a Merseyside derby if it were played away from the city. 

What makes it such a passionate and intense rivalry is the fans and with them not being there as well as the fact it might not have been played at a neural stadium would have meant it wasn’t really a derby at all. It’s still going to be a weird one being played behind closed doors, but it’s certainly going to feel more like a derby now it’s being played at Everton. 

I always thought we were the better side and the results would back that up, but it’s an incredibly intense rivalry and it literally can divide households. You could see from the way the local players were in the build-up how much it means and going out for dinner after winning a derby was really special that’s for sure.

Werner a player Chelsea need

Although I haven’t seen too much of Timo Werner, the bits I have seen of him show he’s clearly a talented player. He’s got an eye for goal and is quick, both of which are attributes that are very useful in the Premier League. However, playing in England is a totally different kettle of fish to playing in Germany. Every game is tough and there aren’t any freebies which he’ll have to get used to, but he’s clearly a classy footballer and looks to have lots going for him. If he’s as good as people say he is then £50million looks like a very good deal for Chelsea.

From Chelsea’s point of view, it’s good they are competing with the players that the top teams want. Liverpool were obviously linked with Werner too, so it shows that Frank Lampard’s side are still able to attract the best.

… Missing out shouldn’t worry Liverpool

It looks as if Liverpool won’t be signing Werner which is obviously disappointing for Liverpool fans, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. They’ve shown in the past that when they recruit they more often than not get it right, so I think you’ve just got to let them find the right players. Everyone thought Mohamed Salah was pricey when they signed him and look how much he’s worth now, so I’m sure there are players they’re looking at besides Werner. 

At the end of the day, Liverpool have plenty of pulling power nowadays and if they really wanted Werner, I think they would have gone out and got him, so for whatever reason they’ve decided against that. They have been far and away the best side in the league this season and while you don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken, successful teams should always be looking to strengthen and rebuild again. It might not be the players who are going to be first teamers straight away, but you’ve always got to be looking ahead and the players who are brought in should be chosen with that in mind.

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