Thiago Alcantara is enjoying a delightful run of form and is showing why Liverpool fans were so desperate to see him return to the starting XI.
Against Southampton, Liverpool were at their very best. They had Andrew Robertson bombing down the left flank with overlapping and underlapping runs to support Sadio Mane, you had Diogo Jota popping up in all the right places, Mo Salah was terrorising Mo Salisu and Trent was spraying the ball across the park with ease.
And then you had Thiago, who, aside from a few dodgy moments early in the game, was absolutely world-class.
His goal might have taken a massive deflection, but the ball roll with his studs to open the space deserved a goal; his second in two games.
Dirk Kuyt has told Liverpool’s official website that he rates Thiago very highly as the Reds get ready for the Merseyside derby this evening.
He said: “I consider Thiago to be one of the best midfielders in the world. I was so happy when he signed for Liverpool in September 2020. He’s really important on and off the ball at the moment. His biggest quality is his creativity.
“But you didn’t have to show that to anybody before he came to Liverpool. But as a player, when other things aren’t clicking 100 per cent, because you need time to adapt and everything, you never really feel entirely comfortable.
“But as you see now, he’s adapting really well and you see the qualities he showed at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, as well as becoming an even more complete player.”
Thiago remaining fit is hugely important. If he and Fabinho can remain fit while Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita head off for AFCON in January, the Reds will have a much better chance of succeeding without their African stars.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielder is unbelievable on the ball. Yet his pressing and ball recovery is also vital to the way Liverpool play.