Praise and Thiago are two words that haven’t often been used in the same sentence over the last year.
Which absolutely boggles the mind – but it seems ‘neutral’ pundits are finally coming to their senses over the Liverpool man.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville dropped perhaps the best compliment he could as he compared Thiago to Paul Scholes.
The all-action midfielder was world-class back in the day, and the pundit says the Spaniard cuts a composed figure in Liverpool’s midfield.
“You need to fight fire with fire against Leeds [United]. Match their energy, so when you see [Harvey] Elliott, Thiago and Fabinho in the midfield, who aren’t the most athletic and mobile, you think maybe Leeds have got a chance to run off them,” Neville said on his podcast.
“But it was all about composure, it reminded me of [Paul] Scholes at Anfield, the game was so frantic and all of the sudden there’s a small guy in the middle of the pitch who just puts his foot on it and there’s calm and peace. [Michael] Carrick did the same for us sometimes.
“What Thiago did for Liverpool there is what he was brought into do, when everything was frantic and running around, he just put his foot on the ball and played the pass that opens the game up, and he did that.”
For anyone paying close attention to Liverpool, it’s quite obvious Thiago has been that type of presence for some time now – not just over the weekend.
While the Spaniard did get into a nasty habit of giving away free-kicks in the middle of the park in his debut term, he was asked to do a job usually covered by Fabinho.
With the Brazilian able to play in midfield again this season – *touch wood* – we should now see the best of Thiago after seeing glimmers of it last season.