Since his arrival from Bayern Munich in September, Thiago Alcantara has been adored by fans for his mesmerizing passes, his ability to get out of tight spaces and how easy he makes his every move on the pitch look.Embed from Getty Images
In his eight appearances so far, his only wins have come as second half substitutes against a 10-man Chelsea and an under-23 Aston Villa side. He is yet to win a match that he has started in.
The beginning of his Liverpool career has been a bumpy one. He firstly contracted Covid-19 a week after his first impressive cameo at Stamford Bridge and on his return to action in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park he was hit by a nasty challenge from Richarlison which seen the Brazilian red carded for the incident. This tackle sidelined Thiago for just over two months with a knee injury. If that game had gone differently Thiago and Virgil Van Dijk may of walked away injury free and Liverpool could have gotten all 3 points…Embed from Getty Images
Thiago’s returned to action from this injury came at a time when Liverpool were and still are in the worst run of form the club has experienced in recent years. Of course it is highly unfair to pin the blame on Thiago as he has been one of the few players who have looked menacing and inspiring.
In the Premier League he is managing more shots per game than any Reds player outside the front three of Mané, Firmino and Salah and is by some distance playing more long balls per match than anyone else in the team. Behind Thiago on the long balls list are the sidelined Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez. This shows the Reds are missing the underlining threat of the duos’ ability to switch the play from defense to attack. This may explain why we are seeing Thiago deployed as a number 6 rather than a number 8. By him playing a deeper midfield position allows him to scope the pitch to play killer passes and hit long balls for the front three.
A big topic many fans have been discussing is ‘who should play alongside Thiago?’ Against Manchester United in the FA Cup there were signs of improvement and intriguingly it was James Milner and Curtis Jones that Thiago played alongside. For many the ideal midfield would be Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago – a midfield trio we have not seen since the trip to Goodison. Unless the club sign a centre-back in the upcoming days, this option will probably not be available anytime soon.
In conclusion Thiago probably hasn’t had the dream start to his Liverpool career that he would of wished for but Jurgen Klopp will surely persist with the Spaniard. Imaginably the player is keen to make up for lost time and to help the team to get back to winning ways.
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