Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Thiago arrival could mean Klopp plans for Oxlade-Chamberlain attacking role

To say Thiago Alcantara’s imminent move to Liverpool has the potential to be a significant one on the pitch would be an understatement.

The Times report an initial fee of £20 million has been agreed with Bayern Munich, plus a further £5 million linked to bonuses.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – AUGUST 23: Thiago Alcantara of FC Bayern Munich celebrates with the UEFA Champions League Trophy following his team’s victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on August 23, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Michael Regan – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

The signing of the summer

This is great value for the Spanish international, who was recently crowned a Champions League winner for the second time in his illustrious career.

At 29, Liverpool have secured a player whose peak years are still ahead of him and one who is versatile, hard-working and who can change the tempo and make the game bend to his will.

Thiago is among the finest midfielders in world football and is capable of changing games in an instant.

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A player of such magnitude would undoubtedly have direct ramifications for certain members of Jurgen Klopp’s squad but this can still be beneficial for certain players.

Thiago has a unique ability that only few players on the planet possess in terms of dictating the tempo of a game single-handily.

It’s because of this that the Spaniard is practically a shoo-in for Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up and considering the Reds currently have seven midfielders on their wage bill – not including Harry Wilson or Marko Grujic, there will be a few positional players for certain squad members.

For Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, this is certainly likely to be the case.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 01: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield on February 01, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Creates a need for more rotation

With Thiago’s arrival imminent, the 27-year-old is likely to fall even further down the midfield pecking order with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum and Naby Keita arguably all higher up in Klopp’s regarding his preferred midfield triumvirate.

With that said, Oxlade-Chamberlain can still utilise this situation to his advantage as the signing of Thiago could infer that Klopp has ideas to use the England international as an attacking option this season.

The former Arsenal man has thrived in this particular area during his time at the Emirates and given his vast experience in the English top-flight, he certainly would prove a viable replacement to Liverpool’s current pedigreed front-three.

Yes, Oxlade-Chamberlain is arguably more effective in a midfield three, but competition for places in that particular area of the team has never been higher.

If he is going to have a sustained run in the team this season, Oxlade-Chamberlain – who cost the Reds £40 million [Guardian] – may have to get used to being rotated in a variety of positions.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the more versatile he proves himself to Klopp, the more valuable he becomes to the team which could correlate to a direct impact on improving Liverpool’s Premier League title defence chances.

Liverpool adding Thiago is a huge statement of intent from Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards. The Reds have utilised their status as English and world champions to bring in quality that is going to both increase competitiveness as well as reduce any risk of complacency.

Strap yourselves in Kopites, this is set to be some season!

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