Despite signing with just about all the hype in the world and essentially being named the honorary sixth Beatle (with George Martin already being fifth), Thiago Alcantara has yet to hit his full pace at Liverpool.
Put down the forks, please. We are not the ones who put him on Bastian Schweinsteiger at Manchester United level, but the truth is that he is capable of more. Much more. And we would probably see it now if it hadn’t been for serious injuries to himself and almost all of Liverpool’s defenders.
Thiago arrived last summer to the delight of fans and understandably so, but a positive test for COVID-19 was followed by a knee injury, limiting him to just six appearances in all competitions until now.
It was a frustrating start, but he is expected to recover from it. What could help him ease that setup process and subsequently give the Reds the refreshment they need is the chance to form a partnership with Curtis Jones – the hottest young hopeful and honorary. from Liverpool. seventh Beatle.
It may seem somewhat absurd to suggest that the key to unlocking a two-time Champions League winner and seven-time Bundesliga winner is to pair him up with a teenager who hasn’t even racked up 50 senior appearances yet, but there is has a method to the madness. .
In his 33 appearances so far, Jones has already shown why he is so loved by Jurgen Klopp. Having barged into the squad during the 2019/20 season, he is regularly presented as a rotating arm this season and already possesses footballing wisdom beyond his years. Impressive passing passes combine with neat dribbling and mobility that allows him to hook up with the big boys of England’s top flight with such ease.
And with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho having to perform defensive duties and form a makeshift center-back couple in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, now is as perfect as ever to allow Thiago and Jones to train a crafty. a jumpsuit bursting with creativity and zipped passes.
Twitter compilations aside, there is serious potential in a Jones / Thiago partnership in a midfield three. When Jones arrived for the finals in Liverpool’s standoff against Manchester United, then there were glimpses of the partnership. His presence has allowed Thiago to venture into more advanced areas and make better use of his vision.
In the long run, the two could make this a regular device. Having Jones and Thiago bounce off each other – protected by a workaholic third man in one of the Hendersons, Fabinho or Georginio Wijnaldum – could be the key for Liverpool to find a change of pace from deep within. ground.
It is not necessarily the spectacle of Thiago either. As the more seasoned of the pair, there’s no reason he can’t sit a little deeper and allow Jones the coin to step forward with the ball. The Spaniard has a frightening pass range that could be exploited from deep, while Jones can play the advanced role. Certainly someone like Wijnaldum is the key to a system like this that works to provide the balance between defense and offense, so a replacement for him is always needed.
Still, the potential pairing gives Klopp’s side another dimension and allows them to dominate games from midfield more often, rather than relying on full-backs and forward moves for creativity. And that’s without even considering the world of the good he does for Jones in the long run; regularly playing alongside someone with a CV and skills as well as Thiago provides a constant source of football education, in the same way that David Silva has helped polish Phil Foden in previous seasons.
It’s still very early days and over-exaggerating another English talent so early would probably end up backfiring on him if not careful. But Jones is already showing exactly why he is held in such high regard by Klopp and Liverpool fans. Pairing him with Thiago in a master / apprentice pivot is key to seeing the duo succeed together.