West Ham's Declan Rice says he was taught "a big lesson" by Thiago Alcantara when the Hammers recently took on Liverpool at the London Stadium.
The Reds put aside poor recent form to beat the Hammers 3-1 on January 31, and midfielder Rice was left suitably impressed by the former Bayern Munich star.
“When I played against Thiago the other day for Liverpool, obviously he is a holding midfielder, it was a big lesson," the England international told BBC Radio Five Live.
"He ran the game.
"The ball was like on a string. It was like he dictated the tempo of the game and he has been there and done it.”
Despite that praise there are still questions over Thiago's suitability for Liverpool, with the former Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas criticising him for his display in the defeat at Leicester on Saturday.
"I don’t think they’ve definitely got the legs in there [midfield] now," said Jenas on Match of the Day.
"You know when you’ve got one link, either weak or missing in any chain, it breaks down
"I think it was clear today, when they’re trying to play this high press, for me Thiago was a weak component without the ball for them.
"He was fine with it [at Bayern]. So it’s just within this system at the minute. Whether it’s just the fact that his presses at Bayern Munich were at different times than they are at Liverpool.
"It just seems clear to me he’s doing things he shouldn’t be doing.
"I feel like he runs himself out of the game. He’s going to press someone when there’s three Leicester players around him, they’ve just popped it around him easily. If he holds his position it’s much more difficult.
"I feel like Thiago is late to the press, he’s run himself out of play."
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