Any person who has ever followed Barcelona or the German Bundesliga knows of Thiago Alcantara. The 29-year old is a mainstay at Bayern and has been so for the past seven seasons. This is only down to his consistent and unbelievably good performances. Thiago is known for his mesmeric distribution skills, unbelievable turns, lightning-quick feet and scintillating technical ability. But, after winning almost everything possible at club level with the Bavarian club, the Spaniard finally wants to move to the Premier League to take up a new challenge. The Red Devils are being linked with Thiago but will face a stern challenge from Liverpool for his signature.

Child Prodigy – Thiago Alcantara

 

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The midfield magician is a graduate from the fabled La Masia academy of Barcelona. He has represented the Catalan club and the Spanish national side in all age categories. Thiago made moves with Barcelona B, playing as a deep-lying playmaker. He played a total of 46 games for the Barcelona B team and then made the step up to the first-team. The Spaniard made his Barcelona
first-team debut on 17 May, 2009, at just 18-years old.
Pep Guardiola was the one who gave Thiago his first opportunity, and even went on to say that “Thiago was the most talented player he had coached”. The next season he played once in the La Liga and scored his first goal for Barcelona, from central midfield.

 

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In the 2010/11 season, he appeared more for Barcelona than his first season as he played a total of 16 games. Out of those 16 games, he played 12 games in La Liga and even one full game in the Champions League. By the end of the season, Thiago had got three goals and three assists for the Blaugrana, from central midfield, already starring Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, and Yaya Toure. In his final season at Barcelona, Thiago played a whopping 45 games playing from central midfield, defensive midfield and attacking midfield. This was his breakout season, and now the player wanted a move elsewhere in search of more game-time.

The First Move

Thiago was linked to Manchester United in 2013 and wanted a move to the Old Trafford. But, then United manager, David Moyes didn’t want the midfield maestro’s services and reportedly said that “Thiago is not the type of player he wanted at Manchester United”. Thiago’s agent revealed it to Thiago and he was baffled by the reply. He then wanted his agent to call the United boss again, which he did, only to get the same answer. Thus, Bayern Munich stepped up their pursuit of Thiago, where his former boss Pep Guardiola, was in charge. In July 2013, he signed for Bayern Munich with a price tag of €25m.

Bayern Munich and International Career

Thiago Alcantara has had a fantastic career at Bayern Munich. He has, under Pep Guardiola, become one of the best midfielders in the world. The Spaniard has also become one of the most important players in the Spanish national team sitting in the heart of their midfield. Thiago, till now, has 37 caps under his belt for his country and has played in tournaments like UEFA Euro 2016 and the FIFA World Cup 2018. He was also selected for FIFA World Cup 2014 but had to withdraw due to a knee injury.

 

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At Bayern, Thiago has won 14 trophies, including 7 Bundesliga titles, winning it every year since he joined. For Bayern, Thiago has played 231 games , scoring 31 goals and assisting 37 more. But, stats only tell half of the story as he is the main orchestrator of the Bayern side. He is the engine of the team usually in a double pivot.
But now, Thiago finally wants to move to a new club to face a new challenge, and his destination might be the Premier League. With Manchester United and Liverpool the most likely to get Thiago’s services, here is a look at how he would fit in at both the sides.

Thiago at Liverpool

The 4-3-3

The 4-3-3 formation is Liverpool’s go-to formation under Klopp and this formation will favor Thiago’s qualities. Liverpool won the Premier League by a big margin this season but it is known that most of their creativity comes from the flanks. Wijnaldum, Henderson and Fabinho are all robust players who get goals from headers. The trio aren’t that good when it comes to creative passes. Thiago, with his arsenal of passes, will be able to solve this problem Liverpool have and will add another dimension to their game.

The 4-2-3-1

Thiago plays in this position for Bayern Munich and with Fabinho beside him, he will be protected well. Thiago’s metronomic passing will come in handy in such a formation and it will be helpful against teams that keep possession.  With more men in midfield, Liverpool will be able to win back possession faster.

Thiago at Manchester United

The 4-4-2 Diamond

This might be the only way to accommodate all of United’s best players. A 4-3-3 with Pogba and Thiago wouldn’t be a great idea, as it would mean that the team will not have a proper CDM. And oppositions could play stronger lads to bully our midfield. But, if Thiago accepts a squad role at United, which is very unlikely, it will be a huge boost for the Red Devils. He could be a perfect replacement for either Pogba or Bruno, with has the ability to play in both the positions.
With all factors considered, Thiago is more likely to move to Liverpool and the move will surely make Liverpool a better side.

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