Opinion - Thiago Alcantara's 2021-22 campaign was a success

Opinion - Thiago Alcantara's 2021-22 campaign was a success

When Liverpool signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich for a transfer fee of £20 million back in the summer of 2020, we were obviously excited. 

The Spaniard has always been held in high regard by many football followers. We were confident that Thiago would hit the ground running. Even Pep Guardiola thought the same.

As quoted by Planet Football, the Manchester City boss said the following when Thiago signed for the Reds: “A player who plays for Barcelona and Bayern Munich can play in the Premier League. Of course he can play. He’s an exceptional player, but I don’t know what he’s going to do.”

But, Thiago did not have the greatest first season at Anfield. The midfielder struggled to stay fit.

With that being the case, we did not see the best of Thiago across the 2020-21 campaign.

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson even questioned if the midfielder was made for the Premier League.

“Bayern Munich have the ball 99 per cent of the time. Now all of a sudden, he comes into this league, gets booked in virtually every game, then he’s walking a tightrope and the intensity has to go," he told Sky Sports.

“He comes over here, and it just proves that this is the hardest league in the world by a million miles. But he’s coming into a team that is struggling. He thinks he’s getting time on the ball, trying to make things happen, but it’s just hard."

 

However, Thiago showed last season that he is more than capable of playing at the highest level. Yes, the Spaniard still had issues with injuries, but he always bounced back in quick fashion. That is something that he did not do during his debut campaign at Anfield.

Thiago ran a number of football games from the middle of the park last season. He would simply put his foot on the ball and control the tempo of the match, which is obviously not an easy thing to do at the highest level.

Thiago averaged a WhoScored player rating of 6.94 across the 2021-22 campaign (39 appearances), which highlights that his overall game was in good nick for 10 months. He also scored two goals and registered five assists.

In other words, Thiago's form is a key reason why the Reds competed for the quadruple.

When the midfielder is on, he is by far Liverpool's most naturally gifted player. He simply looks a level above everyone else around him.

As we have pointed out, Thiago has had his critics, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp knew his man would eventually find his feet.

"He’s an outstanding player – wow," the German said back in April, as quoted by This Is Anfield.

“I knew that when he arrived here, of course. He was unlucky with injuries and stuff like this at the start, but when he is fit he can give the game a real rhythm.

“He’s got an eye for that, he calms the game down in the right moments, he has a sensational overview of the game."

It is a privilege to be able to watch Thiago play for the Reds on a weekly basis.

You could make an argument that he is the most established player Liverpool have signed during the Premier League era.

Going forward, we are confident that if the midfielder is managed properly, he could represent Liverpool for a number of years.

Thiago is contracted until the summer of June 2024. However, we would advise the Anfield faithful to not take him for granted.

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