As Thiago Alcantara enters the final year of his Liverpool contract, the talented midfielder finds himself amid uncertainties about his future. With the arrivals of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai for a combined £95 million, the Reds had to make room for younger talents, resulting in club captain Jordan Henderson's departure for Saudi Arabia and speculation of Fabinho's potential £40 million move.
The question now looms: What lies ahead for Thiago? Numerous rumors have circulated linking him to a move away from Anfield, including offers from Saudi Arabia that he reportedly turned down and whispers of a return to Barcelona.
Nevertheless, the 32-year-old remains steadfast in his determination to see out the final season of his contract with Liverpool, aiming to continue mesmerizing the Reds faithful with his ball-handling skills. However, one concern remains: Thiago has only managed 67 Premier League appearances in his three seasons in England.
Despite his undeniable talent and artistry, Thiago has struggled with injuries, making him somewhat unreliable in Jurgen Klopp's lineup. Notably, he missed the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City due to an injury sustained in warm-up, and required injections to play in the Champions League final loss to Real Madrid.
Thiago's Absence: Creative Void Felt
Liverpool felt the absence of Thiago keenly when he was sidelined, as his creative flair was sorely missed in the midfield. Last season, the Spaniard played only 18 times in the Premier League, during which the Reds encountered significant challenges in the center of the pitch.
Youngsters like Harvey Elliott and Stefan Bajcetic were often called upon to fill the void. With the addition of two new signings and Klopp's attention likely turning to Romeo Lavia, Thiago's role in the team may transform significantly.
He could be utilized more as a 'luxury' player, providing valuable rest and recovery time for Mac Allister and Szoboszlai, who are expected to put in the hard work on the pitch. Moreover, as a substitute option, a fit Thiago could be instrumental in breaking down stubborn low-block defenses in the second half of matches.
Thiago remains one of the best midfielders on the field when he plays, and his presence brings valuable experience and leadership during this transitional phase for Liverpool, particularly with the departures of James Milner and Henderson.
His ability to help the new signings settle into the club's culture while demonstrating the Liverpool way in midfield could be priceless this season. While a clear-out was inevitable, keeping Thiago for at least another season as the new midfield takes shape seems vital.
His footballing brilliance and magical moments on the pitch are worth more than the rumored £15 million selling price. Experience holds significant value in football, and Thiago possesses it in abundance. As Liverpool prepares for the future, Anfield deserves the opportunity to witness Thiago's genius for one more season.
His contributions could prove to be the difference-maker for the Reds, as they aim to establish a dynamic and successful midfield under Klopp's guidance.