Jamie Carragher has moved to disprove the accusations levelled by some against Thiago Alcantara that the former Bayern man actually slows down Liverpool’s play.
The Spaniard’s performances of late have been shoved under the microscope, with the Sky Sports pundit having personally alleged that the midfielder is a defensive “liability”.
“It is suggested, for example, Liverpool are a more possession-based side when Thiago plays, and he is responsible for slowing the tempo,” the former Liverpool defender wrote for the Telegraph. “The opposite is true. Liverpool have more possession and complete more passes as a team without him. And far from ‘passing for passing’s sake’ when Thiago starts, the ratio of forward balls, and those finding a teammate in the final third, is significantly higher with the Spanish international.”
The evidence is clear on a statistical basis, if not quite on the eye test for some neutrals and fans, that the No.6 adds to our creative threat.
Unfortunately, the loss of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson from midfield mean that this addition is only really filling in for the gaps left by their absences, hence some of the more risque challenges of late.
That’s not to say that the Spain international has given up his creativity to take up the mantle as our new midfield enforcer, but the reality of our current circumstances has arguably limited how effectively Jurgen Klopp can utilise the summer signing.
We’d expect this situation to change dramatically once our injured stars begin returning to the squad, allowing the German to experiment with a full-strength Liverpool side.