Jurgen Klopp told reporters at his pre-match presser that the “perception” Thiago Alcantara’s introduction to the Liverpool XI has weakened his side is ludicrous.
The German’s impassioned outburst follows a steady stream of critique flowing the No.6’s way concerning his defensive contributions.
A poor defensive outing against Leicester City – with the Spaniard’s ill-timed challenge handing the Foxes a free-kick that precipitated James Maddison’s equaliser and a harrowing, 7-minute goal blitz – encouraged Jamie Carragher to brand the midfielder a “liability”.
Though statistical evidence has proved that Thiago is actually anything but deficient in his defensive duties, it’s clear that he’s not suited to a deeper role – it’s just not his natural game.
Klopp certainly didn’t prise the world-class star from Bayern Munich to act as his new midfield enforcer, but rather to hone the edge of Liverpool’s attack against low-block sides.
With Fabinho and Jordan Henderson dragged down into the back four, our summer signing has been asked to contribute to more defensive actions than he would have had to do with the pair available in the midfield trio.
As such, we’d have to echo the manager’s view on critique of the La Masia graduate, and suggest that those examining Thiago under the microscope actually take into account relevant factors impacting his contributions.
You can see the manager’s full comments below, courtesy of The Anfield Talk:
"It's just a public perception. 'Oh, Thiago is in and we don't perform well anymore.' These kind of things are just bullshit, let me say it like that!
They are just not right.He can play better football, yes, of course, but we all can play better football. No doubt.” pic.twitter.com/GsNchkOqh0
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) February 20, 2021