After a slow start to life in the Premier League, Thiago Alcantara is beginning to show his class at Liverpool. The midfielder arrived from Bayern Munich with a reputation as one of the best midfielders in the world, and while it has taken a while for him to reach that standard in the Premier League, Gary Neville knew he would come good.
Thiago won the Bundesliga seven times with Bayern as well as the Champions League and the DFB-Pokal on four occasions. So for Jurgen Klopp’s side to be able to bring him to Anfield for just £20million was regarded a significant coup.
Injuries and shaky cameos led many to believe that the 31-year-old had left his best form in Germany. That was until recently, when the midfielder stepped things up a notch. The Spaniard has oozed class in the Reds’ midfield lately, showing composure on the ball and beginning to dictate the tempo of games effortlessly, which will be no great surprise to Manchester United hero Neville.
The former England international was full of praise for Thiago before he put pen to paper in Merseyside in 2020. He told Sky Sports: “He is world-class and would give them a world-class presence in an area of the field where they don’t have a world-class presence. They need that impetus to stay where they are.”
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Thiago has made 19 Premier League appearances for the Reds this season, though injuries have prevented him from making even more of an impact at the club. He has scored once and assisted twice during that time, although his best displays have arguably come in the Champions League.
On the European stage, the former Barcelona star has been a controlling presence in the centre of the park and proved why Neville was so highly complimentary of him previously. In matches where the tempo of the game has become erratic and Klopp’s side were at risk of spiralling out of control, Thiago proved to be one of the coolest players on the pitch.
It has taken Thiago a while to get going in England. But with every game that he has impressed for the title contenders, Neville’s prediction begins to hold even more merit.