Former Liverpool midfielder Paul Stewart has exclusively told Football FanCast that he’s surprised Thiago Alcantara has struggled to adapt to English football.
The Spanish midfielder arrived last summer with a weight of expectation on his shoulders following a glistening career with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, where he won more than 20 major honours, including 11 league titles and two Champions Leagues.
A knee problem and Covid-19 saw Thiago restricted to just two appearances before Christmas, with that knee issue sustained in the Merseyside derby ruling him out for more than two months.
Since returning in late-December, the 30-year-old has started all but three of Liverpool’s Premier League matches, and scored his first Reds in the crucial victory over Southampton earlier this month, although he’s yet to assist in 29 games in all competitions.
Thiago, who was loved by Pep Guardiola during their time at Munich, has improved of late, though, and would have most likely claimed the man of the match award at West Brom on Sunday had it not been for Alisson’s dramatic last-gasp winner.
“He came with a lot of hype behind him, and I thought he would slot straight in,” Stewart told Football FanCast.
“But a lot of these players find the Premier League difficult because the game isn’t the same week in, week out.
“They might be playing Arsenal, who pass the ball around one week, but then you might be at Burnley at Turf Moor and if you don’t fight you are coming away with nothing. And I haven’t seen that in Thiago. Some of these players, and Thiago being one of them, find that side of the English game difficult.”