Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

January 17th: Liverpool must mark in the big Thiago return

Thiago is nearing his return for Liverpool but there’s a clear date for a serious return to action. The Reds don’t need to rush this one.

We’ve all been waiting for the Thiago return for some time. Ever since the derby against Everton, in fact.

We hadn’t seen much of Thiago before that game but we’ve seen literally nothing since. A horrendous ‘tackle’ from Richarlison left the Spaniard hurt and unable to play ever since.

That was back on October 17th and in total, Thiago has played just 135 minutes for Liverpool after joining for £20m.

Thus far, not a great investment.

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He’ll come back, of course, and it appears that his return is imminent. Thiago is back in first-team training as of Wednesday so, hopefully, we can see him against West Brom on Sunday.

If not, the following game against Newcastle United feels like a good game to give him minutes.

But that’s not the ‘return’ we’re looking forward to.

Mark it in

Thiago’s injury history – even the one with Liverpool – has him down as a player you don’t rush. He’ll need time to recover from this one and doesn’t need to be flung gung-ho into the starting XI.

And if he does, we can’t expect much. He’s barely played this season, after all.

Instead, all the focus at Liverpool should be on getting Thiago ready for January 17th. That’s Liverpool v Manchester United at Anfield – the big one.

We expect Liverpool to handle all of the games until then. West Brom, Newcastle and Southampton are all very winnable games.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

So use them to get Thiago ready – nothing more. Give him minutes when necessary, ease him in, and make sure he’s 100% good to go against United.

That’s the real return here. That’s the game where we want to see Thiago at his best.

Anything before that is just bits and pieces to get him back towards his best. The real return must come on January 17th.

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