Jurgen Klopp clearly has a plan for Thiago Alcantara’s long-awaited return to the Liverpool team. It’s one that requires patience according to the Reds boss.
Thiago, 29, could feature against Newcastle United on Wednesday evening having recently recovered from a knee injury.
The Spaniard hasn’t played since October 17, in fact. That came against Everton 16 matches ago.
Last week finally saw Thiago return to full training. He was part of the pack who trained at the club’s AXA Centre on December 24 before taking part in a light session on Christmas Day.
James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri were back on the bench during the 1-1 draw with West Brom on Sunday, but Thiago remained on the sidelines.
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His manager, Klopp, has detailed the process Thiago will have to complete before he is considered for the trip to St James’ Park. What is certain, is that Liverpool will not rush him.
“Thiago has trained in part with the team so far, but on Friday (Christmas Day), he trained the full session,” Klopp said.
“But it was a reduced session so we couldn’t do that [full session].
“He just has to be part of team training [more]. It’s not about being part of team training one day and then you can play football in the Premier League.
“So it looks quite promising at the moment but I cannot say more about it, to be honest. I don’t know.
“I think the plan was that if he trains [on Monday] completely normally then we will see.”
Worth the wait
They say the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thiago certainly fits that category given he is arguably the club’s biggest signing of the modern era.
As a result, Liverpool do not want to take risks and will require an essence of patience before Thiago can return to the field.
After all, he has only started one club game since he became a Champions League winner for the second time in his illustrious career back in August.
With 2021 vastly approaching, Liverpool are set to begin the business end of their domestic and European campaigns. The club have to make sure Thiago is there for them.
Indeed, we want to see Thiago pull strings at Newcastle, but according to Goal, the Southampton game next Monday looks a more likely return date.
If this is played correctly, Thiago could still make his Anfield debut against Manchester United on January 17 – that certainly would be worth waiting for.