Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has extortionately claimed that Liverpool star Thiago Alcantara would be more at home with the Red Devils.
The 46-year-old, who patrolled the centre of the park at Old Trafford for the best part of two decades, has claimed that the Spaniard would be ‘more suited to a Manchester United team’.
The reasoning that Scholes gives for this is that the former Bayern Munich midfielder does not have the ‘energy’ to play in a midfield three and instead needs a more defensive presence besides him.
He may well be correct in the sense that Thiago needs more of a destroyer next to him in order to flourish from an attacking standpoint. Indeed, he has not registered a goal or an assist in his time at Anfield. However, that defensive influence is already at Anfield in the form of Fabinho.
The Brazilian, signed from Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco back in 2018, can be extremely effective at the base of a midfield diamond – an aspect that his personal defensive statistics can attest to.
In his Premier League appearances this season thus far, Fabinho has contributed 6.3 defensive contributions per match according to WhoScored. This includes just over two tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 2.4 clearances every 9 minutes.
Considering that he has been deployed at centre-back in 14 out of his 18 league appearances this season, it could be expected that those numbers would go up should he return to a more natural midfield position.
This then gives Thiago the perfect foil in the centre of the park to venture forwards and be creative.
Whilst it could be argued that the £43.2m-rated man could get the same, if not better, at Old Trafford, none of Scott McTominay, Fred or Paul Pogba get anywhere near Fabinho’s defensive contributions to their team.
It could be suggested then that Thiago would have to assume even more defensive responsibility at Old Trafford given those deficiencies, meaning that Scholes’ comments on the midfielder are not quite as refined or researched as they should be.