Timo Werner should have been signed by Bayern Munich before RB Leipzig snapped up the exciting Germany international, says Jupp Heynckes.
Leipzig paid a reported fee of EUR10million to sign Werner from Stuttgart in June 2016, which now looks a snip with the 21-year-old having plundered 27 goals in 40 Bundesliga appearances.
Bayern boss Heynckes, who returned as head coach following Carlo Ancelotti's dismissal, is of the opinion that Die Roten should do more to attract the best German talent to the Allianz Arena.
Speaking to Die Welt, he said: "Bayern should have signed a player like Timo Werner from Stuttgart a few years ago.
"He could have learned here very well. You have to reach out for young talents in time.
"The best players must play. It does not matter whether they are old or young.
"Do you think that a Franck Ribery can always expect to play? No. When he is not on form, he will not play.
"As I said, you have to look after good, young players in a timely fashion. You have to challenge, speak, lead and motivate them."
Bayern president Uli Hoeness has previously suggested that huge outlays to match European football's biggest spenders is unrealistic.
However, earlier this year striker Robert Lewandowski warned that Bayern must be willing to pay out to continue to compete with Europe's elite.
And Heynckes feels Bayern have to blood youngsters, but also sign big when the situation necessitates.
"I am also of the opinion that Bayern must develop its own talented players with that special something in order to compete at the highest level," he added.
"You have to remain patient, though, because it is a process that lasts many years.
"[But] as a club, Bayern must be ready to sign an expensive top player."