Thiago exit looking more likely

Thiago exit looking more likely

Further injury setbacks mean the Spanish mindfielder is unlikely to play before November, but even then his place looks uncertain

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The Spaniard is without doubt one of the most gifted players in the squad, but age and injury have taken their toll, with no guarantee of a starting spot when he does return.

When Thiago Alcantara signed for Liverpool, many saw it as the missing piece of the puzzle, that would take Liverpool to a new level.  And whilst there have been glimpses of his mercurial talent, injuries have sadly deprived Jurgen Klopp, and Liverpool fans, what should have been the best years of Thiago's career.

When Klopp gave an update recently on Thiago's fitness,  confirming yet another setback, it was clear that both the player, and manager, were frustrated with the situation.  Thiago is unlikely to feature before November, but even if he can regain full fitness, there is no guarantee that he will get back into the starting 11.

Such has been the impact of new arrivals, Domink Szoboszla, Ryan Gravenberch, Alexis Macallister and Watara Endo, as well as the resurgence of Curtis Jones and the undoubted talents of Harvey Elliott and Stefan Bajcetic, that Jurgen Klopp's new 'Liverpool 2.0' may not have need of an ageing Thiago.

Liverpool this season have been full of running, hunting in packs and pressing from the front.  This high energy style has seen the Reds make an excellent start to the season, losing only 1 game - in controversial circumstances to Tottenham.  Would Thiago fit into this new style of play?  The answer, sadly, is probably not.

Thiago's strength is his passing and vision, dictating play from a deep lying position.  Great when you play possession football, not so effective when your game is based on speed and tempo.  Then there is the question of his fitness.  At times last year Liverpool's midfield was simply overrun.  Aging players such as Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago simply could not cope with the speed and movement of younger opponents.  This season, the energy of Szoboszlai, Mac Allister and Jones have rectified that problem - so why go backwards?

It's for these reasons that Thiago and Klopp face a difficult decision.  There is no doubting the players ability, but he would seem to be a 'luxury' player now.  Certainly he could offer something in lower profile games, in the cup competitions and in Europe, helping to guide the younger players.  But in high profile games, against better opposition - it's unlikey he would start ahead of his younger, fitter teammates.

Then there is the issue of his contract - which expires next summer.  At the present time, there is no way the club would sanction a new contract for a player the wrong side of 30, with a terrible injury record.  Thiago had several offers to leave in the summer, most notably from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but choose to stay and fight for his place.  If similar offers come again in January, Thiago, and the club, must think carefully.  Freeing up Thiago's wages, even 6 months early, would benefit the club, and the chance to rebuild his career in a slower, less pressurized league may be the best way for the player to extend his illustrious playing career.

Mac Allister brothers face off

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About the Author

About the Author

Peter Farrell

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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