Dom Hutchinson has told The Optus Sport’s Show that Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara will be bewildered by his new club side’s recent dip – given he joined the team that put his Bayern Munich side to the sword in 2019.
Thiago, 29, made the switch from the Allianz Arena to Anfield off the back of a Champions League-winning season under Hansi Flick. He clocked up 235 appearances during a seven-year spell in Germany that saw seven consecutive Bundesliga titles.
It’s fair to say, then, that his time on Merseyside has been less fruitful than in Bavaria following a miserable reign of form from Klopp’s English champions.
Almost six months since his Liverpool arrival, Thiago is still searching for his first Anfield win as a Reds player.
Hutchinson on Thiago
Liverpool are currently 10 points off league leaders Manchester City, despite having played a game more. It’s been quite the fall from grace for a team that has amassed a whopping 196 points over two seasons, while also winning the Champions League – beating Thiago’s Bayern along the way.
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Thiago was part of the Bayern side that was comprehensively beaten by Klopp’s full-throttle Reds in Germany back in March 2019. Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk were amongst the goals as Liverpool romped to a stunning victory.
And as a result, Hutchinson thinks Thiago will be bemused to see the contrast in performance levels in comparison to that memorable night in Munich.
“Thiago must be looking at this and thinking, is this the same side that demolished Bayern? When they high-pressed them, bullied Bayern into submission. Liverpool were rampant. Look at them now and think ‘wow, they are way off’,” Hutchison said.
What RTK has to say
Yes, Liverpool have struggled this season. You don’t have to be an expert to break down as to why this has happened either.
There are noticeable differences between excuses and explanations, too. Losing all three centre-backs to season-ending injuries is unprecedented.
Liverpool haven’t just lost key personnel, but the team’s identity has suffered as a result to the loss of Virgil van Dijk.
In the absence of the team’s chief organiser and defensive lynchpin, Liverpool have been forced to play their two best midfielders out of position.
Not only, then, have Liverpool suffered in defence, but in midfield, too. This has ultimately disrupted Thiago’s influence as he is operating in a makeshift team that is still yet to uncover a systematic style of play.
A lack of cover in defence has prohibited Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson the licence to get forward as often. Defensively, Liverpool have never been so vulnerable.
Still, this isn’t about giving Liverpool an easy ride. They are still the reigning champions of England, after all.
There could be questions thrown as to why Liverpool waited until the last day of the January transfer window to address key issues. Question Klopp’s the wisdom of Klopp’s substitutes and why the goals have dried up so significantly.
However, it’s important to scrutinise with context and insight. The reality is that Thiago is still yet to feature in a Liverpool side operating at full-capacity.
With that said, until the likes of Van Dijk and Joe Gomez return, it’s unlikely we’ll see Liverpool anywhere close to the level they were able to operate at last season