Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp warned of Thiago Alcantara ‘worry’ ahead of full Lincoln debut | Football | Sport
Thiago Alcantara may end up slowing play down too much at times for, Tim Sherwood has warned Reds boss Jurgen Klopp. The Spaniard is in line to make his full debut tonight in the Carabao Cup.
Liverpool take on League One outfit Lincoln City in the third round of the domestic cup competition at Sincil Bank.
And Thiago, having impressed in his 45-minute cameo in the Premier League win at Chelsea on Sunday, is likely to start.
The 29-year-old summer signing completed more passes than any Chelsea player on the pitch after replacing the injured Jordan Henderson at half-time.
Thiago’s tally of 75 successful passes was the most in 45 minutes since records began as he helped Liverpool control the game against the 10-man Blues to win 2-0.
And a much-changed line-up will look to the ex-Bayern Munich and Barcelona tempo-setter to lead the team tonight in Lincolnshire.
But former Tottenham and Aston Villa boss Sherwood has revealed one problem he thinks Thiago may present to the Liverpool side.
The 51-year-old is a big fan of Spain international Thiago, however, and believes Klopp has made a “fantastic addition” to the squad in the midfielder.
“He gives them a different dimension, he takes the ball anywhere on the pitch, in tight areas, he keeps it, he plays at the correct tempo,” Sherwood told Premier League Productions, analysing his display at Stamford Bridge.
“He doesn’t only pass the ball loads more than any other player on the pitch, he actually tries to pass it forward.
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“He looks up first, he looks at the front three, sees if they’re making runs and if it’s on to pass it forward, he will. If it’s on to keep it, he’s a controller of the game, he dictates what pace they play at.
“The only worry for me and the Liverpool fans is that he can slow it up and slow the game up at times.
“We know when they’re at their best, they’re 100 mile an hour, on the attack all the time.
“Thiago is something they didn’t have. He gives them the opportunity when games are won to slow the game down, keep possession and rest in possession of the football.
“That’s what they’ve missed. I always felt even though they won the league last year and they were fantastic, they’ve never had anyone to slow the game down and give them a rest in some games.
“I think it’s really beneficial if you rest in possession of the football and Thiago can give them that opportunity.
“You’ll see him give the ball away about 20 times this season, the kid don’t give the ball away. He’s a fantastic acquisition and he gives them something they didn’t have.
“He’s not going to break up play or burst forward but he can control the ball and dictate the pace. He’s a No 6 for me but I think he can play as a No 8.”
Speaking ahead of the trip to lower-league Lincoln, Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders was full of praise for Thiago.
“This team deserves a player like him because a good team deserves good players and a good team deserves players who will add something,” the Dutch coach said.
“He will add something to our team. With signings, you have the direct improvements – you put the player into the game and things happen, say if you put a new goalkeeper and he will make a save, if you put in a striker and he will score.
“But the indirect developments are the most important of signings. Because Thiago is so calm and plays so many creative passes, all the others start playing like this.
“This is the power of the example, the power of the models. He will not only improve our game, he also will improve the other players.”
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