Liverpool have finally confirmed the signing of midfielder Thiago Alcantara,29, for a fee of £20 million plus £5 million bonuses. The Spanish international has signed a four-year contract and will wear the number six shirt that has been left vacant ever since Dejan Lovren left.
He leaves Bayern Munich as a treble winner after winning the Bundesliga, the DfB Pokal and the Champions League. For those who have not watched him a lot over the years the Champions League restart last season will have been the best chance to watch his talents as he dominated the midfield in each game in their run to the final. In the run in the knockouts he played against Barcelona and Lyon then the final he ran the midfield against PSG.
Thiago has been one of the best in his position for many years and his outstanding performances in Europe’s elite competition solidified that narrative. In all competitions last season, the Spaniard played 40 times. He missed a handful of games towards the end of the league season with a groin issue but the way he came back for the Champions League has shown that injuries should not affect him if he were to get one.
The Italian-born playmaker said about joining the six-time European cup winners that “I think it’s an amazing feeling. I was waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very, very happy to be here.
“When the years are passing, you are trying to win as much as you can and when you win, you want to win more. I think this club describes what I am as well, I want to achieve all of the goals, win as many trophies as possible.
“It also this kind of family that I need because we have a very close relationship with the club and I think I will feel this, I will have this feeling, with this club as well.”
So, it is very clear to see that Thiago has seen the feeling of togetherness that Klopp has built in the past five years nearly. It was common knowledge that Thiago was waiting for Liverpool and no one else to make the deal happen. There was links to Manchester United and even a return to Barcelona, but Liverpool were the team for him and now he can finally say that he has joined the Premier League champions.
Klopp was asked about the deal in his press conference for the Chelsea game but that was obviously before the deal was announced so he could not disclose any information, but he did say something significant. He said that: “If it happens [Thiago transfer] it has no impact on anyone’s future in a negative way. Someone has to leave? No. No impact.” Meaning that the Wijnaldum out and Thiago in saga has been put to bed as Wijnaldum looks set to stay and potentially start alongside Thiago which can only be viewed as a huge positive as Liverpool look set to charge on in all four competitions this season.
Thiago said in his big exclusive interview for Liverpool “People like Philippe Coutinho and Xabi Alonso helped me a lot to take this last step. It’s really good” which is ironic as the former Barcelona youth product plays in a very similar way to Xabi Alonso. He can sit deep break up play effectively and use his passing to create chances for the front three to finish or create openings for the full backs to create. It will be a great help for Klopp to have a player of Thiago’s quality against low-block teams as it shall give the midfield that creative edge and something else for the opposition to worry about and if he has any sort of career that Alonso had at Liverpool he will be remembered very fondly.
Barcelona’s academy products always seem to have successful careers and playing for the Catalonia club will have made him into the player he is today. Learning from the likes of Xavi and Iniesta two of the greatest midfielders of all time whilst under the management of one of the best managers of all time in Pep Guardiola can do no harm and he impressed that much that Guardiola made it his own personal mission to bring Thiago to Bayern Munich where he has won 16 major honours.
Now it’s Guardiola’s rivals’ mission to make Thiago into the best midfielder in the Premier League if he isn’t already.
Whether he gets his debut against Chelsea on Sunday or instead against Lincoln City in the League cup next week remains to be seen but what is for certain is that Liverpool have signed one of the best midfielders on the planet and have also now got another fantastic song to the tune of the 1978 classic Cuba.
Thiagoooo, Thiagoooo Alcantaraaaaa. You dance through the midfield like nobody does, the first time I saw you I knew it was love, Thiagooo…
Written by Elliot Thompson