Merson pinpoints reason for Thiago’s lack of ‘intensity’ at Liverpool
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson tips Thiago Alcantara to “cause problems” as soon as Liverpool get a fully fit squad back.
The former Barcelona midfielder was expected to take Liverpool to another level again when he arrived from Bayern Munich for £20m in the summer transfer window.
However, he hasn’t lived up to those expectations with only four wins in the 13 matches he’s played under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
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There have been accusations that he doesn’t fit into the current Liverpool side while some fans and pundits reckon he slows the game down too much.
But Merson thinks he will come good when all of the Reds’ injury worries are over.
Merson told Sky Sports: “Bayern Munich have the ball 99 per cent of the time. Now all of a sudden, he comes into this league, gets booked in virtually every game, then he’s walking a tightrope and the intensity has to go.
“He comes over here, and it just proves that this is the hardest league in the world by a million miles. But he’s coming into a team that is struggling. He thinks he’s getting time on the ball, trying to make things happen, but it’s just hard.
“When Van Dijk comes back, I think we see a better Thiago. He can see a pass like Kevin De Bruyne. But at the moment he’s having to run around, get the ball back, and that pass is 40, 50 yards away from his own goal. He needs to get the ball on the edge of the box and thread it through the eye of a needle.
“At the moment, it’s the wrong team for him. When they start getting their best players back, and they’re getting the ball to him 30 yards out, he will cause problems. I have no doubt about it.
“He can’t tackle, and if that was his job when they bought him, it’s a bad buy. But that’s not what they bought him for.”