Premier League • England

Rio Ferdinand reveals Liverpool star ‘wanted to join Man Utd’ before thriving at Anfield

Pundit Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has revealed Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara ‘wanted to join Manchester United’ before shining at Anfield.

The 31-year-old left Bayern Munich in September 2020 as Liverpool paid an initial £20million for his services. The deal had the potential to rise to £25m if certain conditions were met, according to Sky Sports.

Thiago struggled at the start of his spell on Merseyside. He had coronavirus early in the season and was then ruled out for a couple of months due to a knee injury.

He went on to make 30 appearances in all competitions, scoring once. However, some Liverpool fans and pundits were unsure if he would be a major improvement on Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.

Thiago has silenced those doubters this campaign. He is dictating the tempo in plenty of Liverpool matches, with his best performance coming against Manchester United earlier this month.

The Spain international ran rings around the opposition midfield, while also helping his defence with several important tackles.

Rio Ferdinand lauds Liverpool man

Ferdinand has spoken about a conversation he had with Thiago before the star’s transfer to Liverpool. He also detailed how attitudes towards the player will be changing this season.

“I spoke to him,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel. “He spoke perfect English – great guy. He wanted to come to United.

“But you look at him now and he could not be happier. With Thiago, you could have probably gone to a huge, huge amount of the fanbase at Liverpool and (they) would have said after last season that he isn’t good enough.

“They may have said ‘he ain’t the player we thought he was. Playing in the German league, slowing them down, let’s get him out’.

“I saw ex-players and pundits talking about getting him out as he doesn’t play the ball forward or that he ‘ain’t right, ain’t ready for this league’.

“Players need time, and it goes back to this thing with managers with United as well, the club needs to give the manager at Manchester United patience.

“Clubs need to give, the fans need to give players, ones from other leagues especially, patience – [Jadon] Sancho’s another example, I bet you see a better player next season, I’m sure.”

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