‘Thiago is a phenomenal player’ – Liverpool’s new ‘magician’ will be the signing of the season, says Enrique
The former Red is confident that the Spanish midfielder will add a new dimension to Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI for the 2020-21 campaign
Jose Enrique has described Thiago Alcantara as a “phenomenal player” and backed Liverpool‘s new “magician” to be the signing of the season.
Liverpool bought Thiago from Bayern Munich for £20 million ($26m) on September 18, tying him down to a four-year contract.
Jurgen Klopp threw the experienced 29-year-old straight in at the deep end two days after his arrival at Anfield, bringing him on as a substitute in the 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
Thiago gave Liverpool fans a tantalising glimpse of what he will bring to the side during his 45-minute cameo, setting a new record for the number of passes played in a single Premier League game.
The Spaniard was forced to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus shortly after the Chelsea game, but will be available for selection once again for Saturday’s Merseyside derby against Everton.
Enrique believes Thiago will add a creative spark to Klopp’s side which has been lacking since Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona in January 2018, and that his decision to join the Reds shows how far they have come in recent seasons.
“He’s a phenomenal player. He’s a top midfielder but he’s also a magician in the way that [Philippe] Coutinho was,” the former Liverpool defender told the Daily Mail.
“I can see him alongside Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in midfield, giving the team something they didn’t have before. It says a lot about where the club is right now that someone who is an important player at Bayern Munich wants to come and play for Liverpool.”
Enrique continued to wax lyrical over Thiago after approving another of Liverpool’s summer signings, with £41 million ($53m) Diogo Jota considered to be the ideal man to provide competition for Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah after moving to Anfield from Wolves.
“Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri are good players but we were missing someone who, if he adapts, can reach the level of the other three forwards,” he added. “Now with Jota, it would not be as serious a problem if one of the others were out for a longer period.
“I think [Jurgen] Klopp has the best squad he has had since he has been at the club, and he will make the signings better players. He makes all of them better players.
“It’s difficult to improve someone who a top Bayern player but Thiago will learn new things. He will be, if not the signing, then certainly one of the signings of the season.”