Should Liverpool sell Thiago Alcantara this summer?

Thiago Alcantara has been dazzling fans on Merseyside for three seasons now (when fit). However, the silky Spaniard's future at Liverpool is now under scrutiny.

Thiago's arrival in the summer of 2020 was surrounded by excitement and anticipation, with fans optimistic that the playmaker could emulate the wealth of success he had experienced at Bayern Munich.

An intelligent, technically brilliant midfielder, the addition of Thiago to Jurgen Klopp's Premier League-winning side looked to be a masterstroke.

Early signs supported this observation. Making his debut off the bench in a win against Chelsea, Thiago set a new Premier League record as he out-passed every single Blues player, despite only being on the pitch for 45 minutes.

However, since his headline-grabbing debut cameo, things haven't always gone as swimmingly for Liverpool's midfield maestro.

When on the team sheet, Thiago rarely fails to impress. His acute awareness of the game, determination to move play forwards and sensational passing ability makes him valuable asset when Liverpool are fit and firing.

However, his injury record is a major cause for concern — the Spain international has been unavailable for a frankly incredible 66 games for the Reds across three seasons — and with the 32-year-old entering the final year of his contract, there is uncertainty surrounding his future at Anfield.

So, is it worth keeping Thiago around for one more year, or cashing in now while he still has some transfer value?

The case to keep

Thiago Alcantara's ability and understanding of the game is undeniable. He's a maestro, a visionary that can deliver a pin-point pass to any player on the pitch. When fit, he can be the difference for Liverpool, tying Jurgen Klopp's midfield together, controlling the tempo and connecting defence and attack.

A key figure in the Liverpool side that so nearly won the quadruple in 2021/22, Thiago has proved how much of an asset he can be. In terms of his highlights reel and pure talent, there are few who can compare.

Would it then be worth cashing in on the Reds' number six, given the fact the Reds would probably only receive around £10m for his services. Would it not be worth hanging on to his experience?

Furthermore, Liverpool are desperate for depth in midfield — something which became ever apparent in the season just gone.

The arrivals of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have acted to address this, but if Liverpool were to now go and sell Thiago, would that not be two steps forward, one step back?

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The mentality of the midfielder is also something to take note of. After reportedly rejecting a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia to remain on Merseyside, it seems that Thiago has no intentions of straying from the top level of the game, and appears determined to fight for his place in Liverpool's starting lineup.

Combine this with the fact Jurgen Klopp is also reported to be keen on keeping Thiago in the squad to help with the transition to a new era as one of the more experienced heads, the same way that players like James Milner have done in the past.

READ MORE: Romeo Lavia — What Southampton's transition killer would bring to Liverpool

The case for selling

While it's clear that Liverpool do require depth in their midfield ranks, the key for Klopp is surely availability — with so many of last season's options failing to simply be present in the matchday squads on a consistent basis. This is where Thiago falters.

The midfielder has not managed to play in more than 25 Premier League games in any of his three seasons at Liverpool, with injuries and other setbacks plaguing his time in England. His poor availability was never more present than in the season just gone, with Thiago missing 16 games in the second half of the season with a hip problem.

With this summer dedicated to rebuilding Liverpool's midfield, weeding out the systemic issues that blighted their last campaign, it may be time for the Reds to cash in on their injury-prone technician.

And with high-spending Saudi clubs reportedly lurking, along with Turkish giants Fenerbahce, there could be some enticing offers coming in for the Spaniard in the coming weeks.

How much is Thiago's Liverpool contract worth?

While he may not command much of a transfer fee, what could prove the decisive factor is the tempting possibility of offloading the player's wages. On £200,000-a-week, Thiago is one of Liverpool's highest earners, and it has been reported that trimming the wage bill could be a priority for the Reds' hierarchy before they sanction further arrivals.

His quality as a footballer is clear, but whether he is worth spending £10m a year on for a potential cameo role is not.

Furthermore, the issue of homegrown players remains pertinent. As things stand, Liverpool have only one space left in the squad for an overseas player. With Liverpool possibly looking to sign another midfielder as well as a defender, it would be necessary for one non-homegrown player to be sold if both the newcomers are aged over 21 and also not homegrown. The sale of Thiago could offer a solution.

Verdict: Stay or Go?

There are multiple reasons why it would make sense for Liverpool to entertain the idea of selling Thiago this summer.

His contractual situation, combined with his eye-watering wages and patchy injury record makes him one of the more obviously dispensable within Liverpool's squad.

That being said, Thiago remains a special, special footballer. While dismissed as a 'luxury player', the reality is that his intelligence and awareness have made him a key man for some of the best club sides in world football — not least Liverpool's 2021/22 team.

Thiago has taken to the culture of Liverpool well during his time in England and the reports say that the Spaniard is also keen to remain on Merseyside and fight for his place, with Klopp keen for him to stick around — and that should tell you everything.

He may not be cheap but he's worth it. Liverpool shouldn't be rushing to cash in on Thiago this summer, unless under exceptional circumstances or the player himself pushes to leave.

Verdict: STAY

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