Hamann identifies Liverpool’s Thiago problem and warns fans to be ‘cautious’

Thiago Alcantara does not suit Liverpool’s style of play and has only impressed against limited opposition so far, says former Reds midfielder Dietmar Hamann.

Thiago arrived at Anfield back in September with plenty of expectation after establishing a reputation as one of the best passers in European football at Bayern Munich.

However, the Spain international has only made five appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s men in the first half of the 2020/21 campaign, having spent over two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

He returned at the end of December and is now fit and firing again, earning praise for his performance in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at home to Manchester United.

But according to Hamann, Thiago’s possession-based style is actually hampering Liverpool because it conflicts with Klopp’s typical counter-attacking approach.

The German said on talkSPORT: “He doesn’t really play the way that Liverpool play, because in the last few years Liverpool had hard-working midfielders, they were skilful yes – not as skilful as Thiago – but they gave the ball to Mane, they gave the ball to Salah early.

“And if you get the ball [to them] early on the wings, and these guys can run at players, they’re very hard to stop if not impossible to stop.

“I just feel with Thiago, because everybody was raving about him coming to Liverpool, he’s hardly played.

“I think he came on against Chelsea where he had the most touches in the second half, [but] he came on against a Chelsea team that were down to 10 men.

“Then he came on against Newcastle in the last 25 minutes, Newcastle were dead on their feet and everyone was raving about how good he is.

“I can tell you, he’s a good player, he’s a skilful player, yes. But there were never times in Munich where people said, ‘He’s gonna be the first name on the team sheet.’

“So I’d be very cautious when it comes to Thiago.

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“The other thing is that he plays a different style of football. He likes to be in possession.

“Liverpool were always good when they weren’t in possession [a lot] and then they played quickly forward. He’s not that type of player.

“So I think it’ll be very interesting when he does play more often now [to see] how he’s gonna change the dynamic of the team.”

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