Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes regrets that his club previously missed out on bringing in RB Leipzig’s talented striker Timo Werner.
Werner joined Stuttgart at the age of six and played for various youth teams before making his Bundesliga debut being aged 17.
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After three seasons with Stuttgart, Leipzig signed Werner in 2016 for £9 million. Since then, the 21-year-old has made a huge impact in the Bundesliga and is regularly selected for the national team.
His rise to prominence has left Heynckes in rueful mood, telling Welt: “Bayern should have signed Timo Werner years ago, when he was still playing in Stuttgart. He could have learned a lot here.”
Having netted 21 times last season, Werner has already scored six and assisted three more in his first nine games of the current campaign.
Bayern, meanwhile, recently ran out of firepower, as main striker Robert Lewandowski and potential replacement Thomas Muller were both ruled out due to injuries.
Heynckes called up reserve-team strikers Kwasi Okyere Wriedt, 23, and Manuel Wintzheimer, 18, to his squad to provide cover.
But, since David Alaba emerged from Bayern’s own ranks in 2010, no homegrown player has made a permanent impression in the first team.
“Bayern must develop players who have the talent to compete at the highest level later in their career,” said Heynckes. “For this, you must have endurance. That’s a process which lasts for years. The best players must play, no matter if they are young or old.”
Nevertheless, the coach demands big transfers too: “A club like Bayern should buy an absolute star who costs a lot every now and then.”