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Covid-19 and untimely injury struggles prevented the former Bayern Munich playmaker from making an immediate impact on Merseyside, and he is playing catch-up as a result.
Jurgen Klopp has been handing out regular minutes of late, but some have suggested that Thiago is not suited to the Reds’ system and has been slowing them down.
Barnes is not buying that, with a classy 29-year-old considered to be making things tick – as Brazilian schemer Coutinho once did – and Liverpool’s struggles are being put down to collective failings.
“Every time Thiago Alcantara has played for Liverpool thisseasonhe’s been the best player on the pitch,” Liverpool legend Barnes told BonusCodeBets.
“It just so happens that when he plays, the teamhasn’tperformedtoo wellrecently, which makes people think that it’s his fault.Youmustlook at the way the team plays,and the factthat he’s going to be their main playmakerand it’s going to take time for the team to adapt to this.
“WhenThiagohas the ball, he moves it so quickly, but because the back fourtryto give him the ball every time, the ballisn’t movingforward as quickly to the front three as it should.
“He plays the ball quickly, but by the timehe drops deep to collect the ball, those extra seconds have passed before the ball reaches the attacking players, which means the space and the time to get the ballis less.
“It was the exact same when Philippe Coutinho was at Liverpool,andthe play always went through himevery time too.
“By bringing in Thiago and making him ourmain playmaker,it will take time for the team to get used tothe new game plan.
“It’s not a thingthatthe front three are suddenly bad players. When you play a midfield three of Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson andFabinho, they play the ball much quicker as a team, and Liverpool have been playing this way for afew seasons now.
“Thiago has been our best player,and he’s a wonderful player to watch. But,ifyou change the way we play, then it’s going to take time for the team to adapt.”