The Reds have acquired the services of the classy Spanish midfielder from German giants Bayern Munich. Let’s discuss his career along with how he’ll fit into a Liverpool side with so many midfield options available to Jurgen Klopp, and then ask whether or not he will be a viable FPL asset.
Career so far
Thiago was born in Italy as the eldest child of the former Brazilian World Cup winner Mazinho. He played as a youth player for Brazilian club Flamengo before joining the world famous La Masia academy in Barcelona at age 14.
He chose to represent the Spanish national side while his brother Rafinha, who currently plays for Barcelona, opted to play for Brazil.
Thiago made his first team debut for Barcelona in 2009 and went on to play for the Spanish giants until 2013, winning four La Liga titles, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. He was then signed by Bayern for a fee of €25 million. He has won a whooping 16 trophies since he arrived in Germany, including seven Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Champions League as a part of the continental treble.
On the international side, he helped Spain win the European Championships at the under-19 and under-21 levels. He made his international debut in 2011 and was also part of the squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Thiago has played under inspirational managers like Pep Guardiola and Vicente del Bosque, with Pep describing him as the only player he would want ahead of anyone else as the manager of Bayern Munich.
He is no stranger to footballing glory, so Jurgen Klopp surely has a proper winner at his disposal to take the already successful Liverpool side to the consistency levels of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus.
Playing position and strengths
Although he is a highly versatile player who can play as either an attacking or defensive midfielder, the position he usually plays and thrives in is central midfield. His forte is picking up balls in the deep area and quickly transitioning from defense to attack. He is not the kind of player you would expect to be involved in goals, which is evident in his stats throughout his time at Bayern.
For anyone who doesn’t know the type of player he is, Thiago Alacantra is an absolute baller. For me, he is a mixture of Xavi and Iniesta, and that is all you need to know about his capabilities. He is a proper all-rounder when you consider passing, dribbling and the defensive aspect of the game.
He has a lot of strengths, but the most important of them is controlling the game from the midfield by not putting a foot wrong. He very rarely makes major mistakes and very simply does the job he is asked to do. He is not a phenomenal shooter, which makes him just a little bit less intriguing as an FPL asset.
Fitting in at Liverpool
Given the sheer quality he possesses, he’ll have little trouble breaking into the starting 11. In his first Liverpool game, visiting Stamford Bridge, he replaced Jordan Henderson, and that is likely going to be his role once he starts playing regularly. Henderson might be utilized in tournaments, but for the Premier League, I have no doubts Thiago will be a regular starter.
Although he could displace any of the three current Liverpool midfielders, I think it’ll be Henderson who’ll make way as Thiago does that position’s hard work as well as possessing more creativity than the Liverpool captain.
He looked impressive in his first match, and seeming as if he had been playing for the Reds for a long time. Thiago broke the record for the most passes in 45 minutes in the Premier League in his first 45 minutes. Having followed him for a long time, I am expecting only great things from the Spaniard; Liverpool are only going to get better with him in the team.
Is he FPL material?
I am not sure. He is priced at £6.0million, and that is not attractive given the many better options available elsewhere in the same price bracket. If he was a little bit less then he would have been an excellent enabler like Soucek from West Ham.
Thiago usually provides the assist to the assist and doesn’t score many goals, so it’s hard to justify his price. But, what I am certain of is he’ll improve the team massively, which will ultimately result in increased returns for those going forward such as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, TAA, Andrew Robertson etc.
Thiago is an amazing addition to the Premier League and will provide Liverpool with plenty of quality to help them defend their title. I can think of very few midfielders who are currently playing in the league better than him.
In terms of FPL appeal, he won’t be popular for reasons discussed above, but he’ll be an absolute joy to witness. If you’re someone who hasn’t seen him play much, then get ready for a treat because this guy is a class apart.
It’s hard to imagine myself bringing him into my FPL team but in terms of football, strap yourselves in for some mesmeric passing and elegant dribbling.
How do you think the new signing will fare in the highly demanding Premier League? Do you think he’ll be able to live up to the expectations? How do you expect Klopp to utilize his midfielders now? Please let us know in the comments below.