Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has outlined his growing admiration for Brazilian pair Fabinho and Roberto Firmino.
Jurgen Klopp has put together a title-winning team in recent seasons featuring a number of world-class talents.
Fabinho and Firmino have proved unmissable cogs in the side which has won the Premier League and Champions League.
But while Thiago added to the Reds’ ranks in September, he has only recently begun to embed himself into the team. Indeed, he made two appearances earlier in the campaign before a knee injury struck.
As such, he has also begun to learn and work with his colleagues and he hailed the Brazilian duo.
While Fabinho earned his stripes in Liverpool’s midfield, he has switched seamlessly to centre-back this season amid injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Firmino, meanwhile, has maintained his place at the top of Liverpool’s team.
“Fabi is an amazing player as a centre-back and he’s even better as a number six,” Thiago said (via the Liverpool Echo).
“I think with him at the back he gives us the security as a number six, eight or 10 to make the team play a bit more.
“For me our number 10 is Bobby Firmino. He has lots of great characteristics and skills to arrive into the area but also come back and play and turn. He’s like an old number 10.”
While Thiago has settled into the team in recent weeks after his injury, his impact has not been immediate in finding and maintaining Liverpool’s form over the past two seasons.
The Reds are without a win in six Premier League games. As such, they have slipped to fifth in the table ahead of Thursday’s clash with Spurs.
“All the teams are trying to reach the winning teams from last season, in the Premier League they’re trying to reach Liverpool,” the Spaniard added.
“In Germany they’re chasing Bayern, in Spain it’s Real Madrid or Barcelona. When you win something your biggest challenge is to keep that level and try to win again.”
Thiago opens up on Klopp chats
Thiago moved to Anfield from Bayern Munich, having enjoyed an illustrious career with the serial Bundesliga winners.
He said of discussions with Klopp prior to sealing his move: “When the option to come to Liverpool came up I had small chats with him and he gives you this good energy and this hunger, that I have, to win everything.
“So I think it was a kind of match at this point and I asked team-mates ‘how was your time in Dortmund?’ and you start to talk about the team and then the coach.
“So then came my decision to join him and this time and so far he’s been a great, great coach.”