Liverpool had experienced a quiet transfer window, however, a flurry of activity in the past couple of days has seen the Reds land two excellent signings. With Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota both arriving on Merseyside.
Lets have a look at who Liverpool’s new signings are, what they can bring to Anfield and why they give Liverpool the advantage in the title race.
Liverpool successfully beat a whole array of top clubs to the signature of Thiago for a fee around £20 million pounds. Thiago was Klopp’s main target this transfer window, as he looked to strengthen his midfield. Rivals, Manchester United also expressed an interest in the Spaniard but Thiago favoured a move to the Premier League champions.
Who Is He?
Thiago Alcantara, more commonly known as Thiago, is a central midfield player who has signed from Champions League winners, Bayern Munich. He is 29-years-old and a Spanish international. Thiago to put it simply is one of the best midfielders in the world.
He was born in Italy and also had Brazilian heritage but chose to play for Spain. The 29-year-old joined Barcelona aged 14 and made his first-team debut in 2009. After 4 incredibly successful seasons, Thiago was snapped up by former manager Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich for £25 million. Guardiola paid a massive compliment to him when he described signing him for Bayern, “I spoke to the club and I told them about my concept and told them why I want Thiago. He is the only player I want. It will be him or no-one.” High praise indeed!
Thiago has enjoyed seven excellent seasons at Bayern Munich, winning a whole host of major trophies. So why on earth are Bayern letting such a talented player go? It may seem strange that they are letting him go so cheaply. However, Thiago had just one year left on his contract and Bayern did not want to let him leave on a free transfer.
Thiago is arguably playing the best football of his career and anybody watching the Champions League final could see how he controlled the game so effortlessly. Thiago can play as a deep-lying midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder or as a number 10 if needed. What an incredible signing for Liverpool but just what will he add to Liverpool’s midfield?
What He Will Bring To Liverpool?
Well first of all trophies. Thiago Alcantara is a serial winner. During his career he has won: 2x Champions League trophies, 4x La Liga titles, 2x Spanish cups, 2x Spanish Super cups, 7x Bundesliga titles, 4x German cups, 2x Fifa Club World cups, 3x German Super cups and 2x UEFA Super cups. An unbelievable amount of trophies!
Let’s look at what Thiago can do on the pitch. He will add a new dimension to Liverpool’s midfield with his calm and composed style. Liverpool have occasionally struggled to unlock defences that sit deep; something that Thiago’s unbelievable passing range can amend.
Another recent problem that Liverpool have struggled with is Virgil Van Dijk being caught out. When Liverpool have been searching for a goal in a game, Van Dijk is often the one that takes responsibility and brought the ball forward. However some teams have exploited that and caught Liverpool’s high line out on the break. With Thiago in the team, Van Dijk does not need to be the one bringing the ball out of defence as the Spaniard can do it instead. Leaving Liverpool much more sound defensively.
Where he will fit into Liverpool’s midfield and who he will replace is as yet unknown but Thiago really will add a frightening new aspect to Liverpool’s team. His debut off the bench against Chelsea conveyed all of my previous points about his impressive passing range. He really does look to be an outstanding addition to Liverpool’s star studded side.
Whilst Thiago is Liverpool’s marquee signing of the window, the signing of Diogo Jota could prove to be equally as valuble. Jota is a player who already has years of premier league and European expereince with Wolves, despite his age of just 23-years-old. Yesterday it was announced that the Portuguese international had signed for Liverpool for £41 million pounds.
So lets have an in-depth look at the wolf who swapped Molineux for Anfield.
Who Is He?
Diogo Jota is a 23-year-old Portuguese striker that has become a fans favourite at Wolves. Jota scored 44 goals and provided 19 assists in 131 appearances for Wolves. It was Jota’s goals that propelled Wolves into the Premier League. And since then Jota has backed that up with two stellar premier league campaigns.
Jota is left-footed and often plays as a left-winger, but also has the ability to play down the middle or on the right. Before signing for Wolves, Jota played for Porto, however, it was at Molineux under fellow countryman, Nuno Espirito Santo, that he made his name.
Diogo Jota will leave Wolves still very highly respected by the fans, as they understand his decision to sign for such a big club. Jota scored three hattricks for Wolves and was an integral part of their recent success in the Premier League and Europa League.
This is how Jurgen Klopp, Jota’s new boss, summed him up, “He’s a participant who provides us so many choices to make use of him. He’s 23 years previous, nonetheless far-off from being form of a completed article, a lot potential. He has the velocity, he can mix, can defend, can press.”
Where will he fit in at Liverpool?
So, Diogo Jota is an excellent young player with bags of potential. But where will he fit into this Liverpool side? We all know the quality of Liverpool’s front three, so it would be unlikely for Jota to bench any of them anytime soon. But Jota will have chances this season and he needs to take them.
My biggest worry for Liverpool’s title defence this season was what they would do if one of their attackers got injured. Divock Origi is an excellent impact substitute to have in the team but he does not possess the quality to start for the champions. However, Liverpool have rectified this issue with the signing of Jota. Jota has experience of playing every week and would be a very ample replacement for any of the front three.
Whilst, Jota’s playing time might be more limited this season, he is still young and could potentially replace Firmino in the future. Jota is not going to be a carbon copy of any player, he has his own playing style and will add goals and pace to Liverpool’s team.
Why The New Signings Will Give Liverpool The Edge over City
Liverpool managed to win the league last season with arguably a weaker side than Manchester City. Whilst Liverpool had a superb starting 11, they did not boast the same strength and depth as City. Now they do.
Liverpool’s midfield is unbelievably strong and you almost feel sorry for Klopp, as to who he will start. With Thiago, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Fabinho and Milner all midfield options. With the signing of Jota also strengthening Liverpool’s attacking options.
A fantastic team that has been further developed by brilliant recruitment. Liverpool will be pushed all the way by City and possibly Chelsea. But in the end I think they will prove too much and secure back-to-back titles.