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Tony Cascarino has heaped praise on Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara following his glittering Community Shield display.
The pundit, who played for the likes of Aston Villa, Celtic, and Chelsea during the 1990s, described Thiago as “probably the most gifted player’s I’ve seen in the Premier League.”
Speaking to Talk Sport, he clamoured over Thiago’s “technique” remarking that the Spaniard “is extraordinary.”
He continued that “We’ve all seen loads, but Thiago is up there with the very best… Technically he has got everything.”
But Cascarino correctly pointed out that “if he has injuries, then Liverpool will suffer" without him in their team.
The 31-year-old is unique in terms of his midfield profile within the Liverpool squad. He does not have a like for like understudy.
The Reds have thus been linked with Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes who boasts comparable technical quality.
He can operate in that deep lying playmaker role, linking defence to attack, rather than playing as a box-to-box midfielder.
And now would be a better time than ever to bring in competition for Thiago.
The midfielder really came into his own at Anfield last season after struggling a bit during his first year in English football, but given his age his performance will soon begin to decline.
With that in mind, Liverpool could look to bring in a player who won’t only provide necessary cover for him this season, but a someone who can eventually succeed him.
Nunes fits the bill in that regard. Coming from the Primeira Liga at 23, he’ll need a period of acclimatisation, which is fine because Thiago will carry on playing ahead of him for the time being.
But in the meantime, Nunes can learn from the “extraordinary” Thiago and Jürgen Klopp can be a little more relaxed when his star Spanish midfielder is unavailable for selection.
Concerns over Liverpool’s team performance when Thiago isn’t playing show just how much the Spaniard has improved over the last year.
Cascarino is correct, Thiago is a fantastic footballer.