Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara will go on to play a “massive role” when he returns to full fitness, according to one pundit.
Thiago signed for the Reds from Bayern Munich in the summer, to much excitement among fans.
Indeed, he showed glimpses of his calmness and control on his debut, as Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
What’s more, the Spaniard played two fantastic no-look passes against Everton, the second of which helped set up Jordan Henderson’s later-disallowed winning goal.
But Thiago has not played since that match in October, suffering a knee injury in a clash with Richarlison. In the same game, centre-back Virgil van Dijk also went down with injury, which will likely rule him out for the rest of the season.
Thiago, meanwhile, will soon return for Jurgen Klopp and Stephen Warnock feels the 29-year-old can play a big part.
“People are writing Liverpool off mainly because of one player in Van Dijk. But don’t forget they have still got plenty of quality within the squad – no way are they the one man team that’s been suggested,” Warnock said (via the Daily Mirror).
“And I’m thinking especially the addition of Thiago coming into the team. His arrival is big and he’s going to be playing a massive role when he’s fit.
“I don’t think Fabinho will be absent for too long. It’s a hamstring injury that might keep him out four or five weeks and I’m sure he’ll be back next month.
“Klopp may have to buy a defender in January but he has some options already with Joel Matip back fit.”
Thiago to free up Henderson
Warnock also suggested that Thiago’s return could mean Klopp could utilise captain Jordan Henderson as a centre-back if required.
“And with Thiago coming in as a world class central midfielder it allows Henderson to play in the back four because he’s already shown he can play as a centre half before,” the pundit added.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how he goes about it after this latest blow but good managers and coaches adapt.
“And don’t forget, it’s not just Jurgen Klopp on his own. He’s got Pep Ljinders as well who is hugely influential in helping him behind the scenes.”