Thiago Alcantara will celebrate its first anniversary on Saturday after joining Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp admits that “there’s still a lot to do” from the midfielder, who hasn’t had the expected impact since the £ 25m transfer from Bayern Munich.
Given his pedigree, it was assumed that Spain International would be virtually automatically selected in the middle of Liverpool, first in Barcelona, then in Bayern. But that didn’t happen.
He got off to a difficult start, signing Covid shortly after arriving at Merseyside, and kneeling on a tackle with Everton striker Richarlison winning a red card at Merseyside Derby last October at Goodison Park. I was injured and was excluded for two and a half months.
A problematic start limited him to 21 starts in 53 games played by Liverpool in all tournaments last season. Giorginio Wizinaldam moved to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, but Chiago has so far only started one of the club’s five games after delaying the start of pre-season preparations following the European Championship mission. Is not …
Klopp admits that Chiago had to adapt to Liverpool’s high-intensity playstyle and Premier League pace and physique, but he’s confident that a 30-year-old player will get there.
“The start wasn’t perfect because he got Covid, and then he got injured. Of course, that makes everything difficult,” said the Liverpool manager. “It’s been a year now, but it’s only half a year because everything happened. Joining a new club at the most difficult time of our lives.
“Again, the beginning of the season wasn’t perfect for him. He later came from the euro and was slightly injured, so he preseasoned with us until late. I couldn’t get started. It’s not perfect, but it’s not a big deal. There’s a long season to come.
“He settled down really well. His family is here. He has a really good personality and personality and is clearly a world class player. He is already what kind of player he is for us. It shows what kind of player you can be, but of course there are many more things to come. “
Thiago left Barcelona in 2013. The incomparable trio of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets were in order.
Now, as he approaches the second half of his career, Liverpool reaffirms fierce competition with eight players competing for three midfield locations in Klopp. Other players are Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, James Milner, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Curtis Jones. And Harvey Elliott, who started the last three games before the unfortunate long-term injury in Leeds last weekend.
“For Chiago, everything technical is easy,” Klopp added. “But yes, he had to adapt to the way we defend. We want him to play his natural football, but he’s in the way we play There are some things that need to be adapted.
“It’s much more common to use a slightly more aggressive player as one of the” double six “than Bayern Munich. You have to be more aggressive and defensive as one of our “double six”. You have to play between the lines. You can drop it on the last line to receive the ball, but not always.
“I don’t want him to run constantly beyond the last line. He’s obviously a playmaker, sometimes a little deeper, but he’s also on the two” interesting “lines of his opponent. is needed.
“In the closed areas he passed, he is really good and can chip the ball into each area like a world-class golfer! He does it without thinking. His play I love how to do it. “
Klopp argues that there is no “first choice” midfield trio and that Liverpool will continue to adopt the course horse policy in preparation for Saturday’s visit to Crystal Palace.
“It’s a complicated position for us to be in eighth place,” he explained. “We have so many different skill sets that there is no” first three “in the middle. How do I do this! ??
“If we think a particular skill set makes more sense to a particular opponent, we sometimes use different skill sets. Sometimes we can think of doing more runs behind the scenes. For example, you may want to be more naturally offensive or more naturally defensive, which is why we have a different lineup. “
Roberto Firmino is still injured, but Virgil van Dijk will be back after a break in the middle of the week.
Predicted Liverpool Team (4-3-3): Allison; Alexander Arnold, Matip, Van Dyck, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Henderson; Sarah, Jota, Mane.