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Liverpool Legend Warns That Thiago Alcantara ‘Doesn’t Play The Liverpool Way’

Liverpool Legend Warns That Thiago Alcantara ‘Doesn’t Play The Liverpool Way’

Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann has warned Jurgen Klopp that Thiago Alcantara "slows things down and doesn't really play the way Liverpool play."

There has been plenty of debate around the role of the Spanish midfielder since he arrived from Bayern Munich in the summer. His skill is obvious but some have argued he disrupts the balance of Klopp's side.

Ex-German international Hamann, a Champions League winner with the Reds in 2005, has explained why he's always had strong doubts about how Thiago would fit in on Merseyside - and points to Liverpool's struggles in attack following the 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Anfield.

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"The problem in the last few games was going forward," Hamman told talkSPORT. "Fabinho has been brilliant in defence, but he's a loss in midfield as he gives the team good balance and gives the other midfielders and attackers the freedom to go forward and enjoy themselves.

"People made a lot of the arrival of Thiago, but a couple of people have said he really slows things down and doesn't really play the way Liverpool play.

"Liverpool over the past few years have had hard-working midfielders, they are skilful - not as skllful as Thiago - but they gave the ball to [Sadio] Mane and to [Mohamed] Salah early. And if those guys get the ball early on the wing and they run at players they are very had to stop, if not impossible to stop."

"I just feel that Thiago... everyone was raving about him coming to Liverpool but he's hardly played. He played two games, he came on against Chelsea where he had the most passes in the second half but it was against Chelsea team that was down to 10 men, then he came on against Newcastle in the last 25 minutes, Newcastle were dead on their feet and everyone was raving about how good he is."

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Another former LFC star, John Barnes, has expressed his worries that Thaigo slows the game down and blunts the effectiveness of Liverpool's front three.

Hamman explains that he has no doubts about Thiago's quality - as he's already shown glimpses of his class be - but warned even the great Bayern Munich team of the last seven years struggled to always find a place for him.

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"I can tell you, he is a good player, he is a skilful player, but there was never a time in Munich where people said: '"He's got to be the first name on the team sheet,'" said Hamman.

"So I'm very cautious when it comes to Thiago.

"He plays a different style of football. He likes to be in possession, but Liverpool were always good when they were not in possession, and then when they got in possession they played it quickly forward, and he's not that type of player.

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"So I think it'll be very interesting when he does play more often now how it's going to change the dynamics of the team."

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Liverpool, Football News, Football, Premier League, Liverpool News, Thiago Alcantara

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.