Thiago Alcantara is “still a kid” when he has possession of the ball, according to Jurgen Klopp, who says Liverpool’s new playmaker is a “really interesting package”.
Liverpool snapped up Thiago from Bayern Munich for the bargain price of £20 million ($26m) on September 18, bringing to an end one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the summer.
He was handed his debut for the Reds just two later, as he produced an impressive cameo display from the bench during the 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Spain international set a new record for the number of passes completed in a single Premier League contest, and is now being tipped to spearhead Liverpool’s pursuit of major trophies across all competitions in 2020-21.
Ahead of a meeting with Arsenal at Anfield on Monday night, Klopp has outlined the qualities which set Thiago apart from his peers and praised him for his professionalism and maturity away from the pitch.
“Thiago is obviously a very good football player,” Klopp told Sky Sports of the 29-year-old, who is facing a late fitness test before the clash against the Gunners.
“You saw it [against Chelsea].
Some things are natural for him that are not natural for other players, but we won the league and we won the Champions League without Thiago. He won it with Bayern, so obviously it is a good fit I would say, but we now have to get used to each other.
“There are very special things [he has that separates him from others] in world football. His vision is exceptional, pair that with pretty good technical skills, and a nice passing ability and these kinds of things, and you become a really interesting package. That’s what Thiago is.
“On top of that as a guy, he couldn’t be better. It’s incredible, when you give him a ball, he is still a kid. When you take the ball away he is a really mature and experienced football person, who is interested in a lot of things, tactics and all these kind of things. He wants to learn which is very important.”