Thiago Alcantara is unquestionably one of the leading midfielders in world football and a key cog in the Liverpool machine.
Still, concerns are ongoing around the Spaniard’s availability in light of his injury record at the club with the former Blaugrana star having missed five fixtures already this term alone.
Presumably, it has been an influencing factor for Frank McAvennie’s suggestion that both the club and player would be ‘happy’ to allow the 31-year-old to see out his contract at Anfield (set to expire in 2024) and call it a day.
“He will be on a good deal so he’ll be happy if he finishes his contract. Then he’ll go somewhere else,” the former Celtic star told Football Insider.
“He’ll be 33 by the time his contract is up, I think he’ll be ready to go.
“If you get two more good years out of Thiago, they’ll be happy. He’s a wonderful talent, he can see things way before everyone else which is great for a player.”
One only need look at the scale of improvement in performance fans witnessed at L4 in the 2-1 victory against Ajax, in comparison to a 4-1 defeat to Napoli the prior week, to see why that’s an arguably problematic suggestion.
It’ll be a while until the classy playmaker is once again plying his trade for Jurgen Klopp’s men following the suspended Chelsea clash, though, once action returns on October 1, there’s an easy way fans can keep track of the best operators in the betting world amid all the live action.
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Finishing his current terms at the age of 33 – and keeping in mind Thiago’s injury record – one could forgive McAvennie for his suggestion.
One might imagine, too, that we’ll be keen to secure an understudy for the Spanish international at the earliest opportunity, whether that be in loan addition Arthur Melo or a young prospect.
To take an alternate stance, we’d advise those in favour of parting ways with our No.6 to take a look at the incumbent European champions and the ongoing importance of Luka Modric at Real Madrid at the age of 37.
The argument will be swiftly made that the Croatian is competing in a comparatively slower and less physically demanding league; a point worth bearing in mind if our own playmaker was a box-to-box midfielder rather than a technical operator dictating the tempo from the middle of the park.
As the latter of the two, we see little reason why Thiago can’t remain just as effective for Jurgen Klopp’s men going well into his 30s.
To be clear, we’re not advocating for Liverpool to hand the former Bayern Munich star a five-year contract come the summer of 2023, though we likewise shouldn’t be too quick to allow his contract to run its course.
As ever, injuries remain a concern when it comes to the midfielder’s availability going forward, though hopefully the availability of a vaguely reliable alternative will give decision-makers at Anfield the confidence to extend his stay at an appropriate time.
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