A theme when discussing Liverpool in January and February has been whether or not Thiago’s influence on the side has actually been a negative one…
After all, we were winning games before Christmas, and haven’t won many since his arrival into the midfield.
On the eye test, he’s looked like our best midfielder basically every single game – and the stats back it up.
This incredible graph shared below shows that Thiago not only plays the most penetrative passes in the Premier League per 90 minutes, but he keeps the ball to the same percentage as a sideways 5-yarder.
For example, Thiago makes more penetrative passes than Kevin De Bruyne, and loses it less than Scot McTominay.
Thiago is ridiculous. Maybe Liverpool should get their defensive midfielders back in midfield to help him. https://t.co/tbjPM2km1V
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) February 10, 2021
The issue is the players alongside him and the roles Jurgen Klopp has asked them to do. Gini Wijnaldum is essentially doing the same job as Thiago, but without as many forward passes, as is either James Milner or Curtis Jones, who’ve played most recently.
We need a runner in there, too – a player who will get into the penalty area – and someone with dynamism who can turn defence into attack – like Jordan Henderson.
Assuming Fabinho is a centre-back for the season, we’d like to see a Thiago, Henderson, Naby Keita trio once the Guinean returns – especially considering Wijnaldum is leaving on a free in the summer anyway.