It’s hard to not get excited about transfer rumours, even if their veracity is doubtful. The latest bit of gossip that Kopites have been getting worked up over is the rumour that Liverpool have agreed personal terms with Thiago Alcantara. Whilst we can’t put a tremendous amount of stock into this nugget of news we can still analyse what Liverpool signing Thiago would mean; it would mean a massive boost to Jürgen Klopp’s title defence.
According to Sport in Spain Liverpool have agreed personal terms with Thiago and are now seeking to agree a €35m fee with Bayern Munich in order to wrap the deal up.
Liverpool signing Thiago would solve one of the very few problems that the Reds have: the lack of a midfield spark. Throughout the 2019/20 campaign Jürgen Klopp’s side demonstrated time and again that they have just enough to get over the line, they were mentally tougher than any side they faced in the league.
Grit and determination may not be enough next season. Whilst we don’t expect Liverpool to drop into a top four scrap we can definitely expect a much tougher title challenge next time out.
The Reds have been guilty of too often relying on the playmaking abilities of the full backs and the genius of the front three to pull them out of some sticky spots. Next season Jürgen Klopp will need another dimension to make matters more complicated for his opponents.
At the minute the midfield is functional, they restrict the opposition and facilitate the freedom of the full backs. For the most part the midfield three aren’t expected to create too much. Liverpool adding Thiago Alcantara would change that. The Spaniard is a playmaking genius and regularly wows neutrals with his vision and control – though he doesn’t bag dozens of assists he is pivotal in the transition phase.
With Thiago in the midfield the Reds would be able to vary their play more, relying less on long, vertical passes. When teams park the bus we can turn to the Spaniard to pick out that vital pass – something Liverpool have been missing since the departure of Philippe Coutinho (and Xabi Alonso before him).
Having the ability to vary the method of attack could be the decisive boost that Liverpool need for their title defence as Klopp will be able to keep the opposition guessing.