Welcome to Liverpool FC: Thiago Alcantara

Stop press! *** Thiago Alcantara signs for Liverpool ***

That's right you beautiful red people, you read it here (in that particular font and wordage) first - we are now the proud owner of a super-duper new midfielder.

Joining on a permanent move from Bayern Munich for £20m, Thiago's initial contract term is four years and his price could rise to £25m if we meet certain performance criteria along the way.

With the Spanish international having been the talk of the transfer tavern for quite some time his signing isn't a bolt from the blue but what do we really know of him? Now it's a done deal I think it may be nice to learn a little of his background and career to date.

Okay first thing, he has won stuff, like a lot of stuff, like everything you can win in football. And he's won it all at least ten times over. But not the Premier League and not with Liverpool. Something it sounds like he's keen to rectify.

Already I'm buzzing, Thiago not only brings a wealth of winning experience but has been in superb form - less than a month ago helping Bayern beat Barcalona 8-2 to win the 2020 Champions League final. Granted it would have been more tasteful to stop at something like 4-0 but that's just the winning mentality of our new midfielder and where better for him to bring that than Anfield.

Prior to the signing we have questioned Thiago's age (29) as well as his slightly less than impressive injury record and no doubt we're fairly representative of most Liverpool fans, and those are fair points. However, for the price we finally secured, doff of the cap to those responsible (our still current sporting director Michael Edwards and FSG president Mike Gordon) this is a no-brainer. In fact it's better than that, it's ruddy amazing.

I hope this next segment is okay, it is direct form Thiago's Wiki page and rather than reword it I will quote it verbatim because it gives a great overview of just how meteoric Thiago's career has been.

Born in Italy to Brazilian parents, his father being former footballer and World Cup champion Mazinho who played for Lecce in Serie A at the time of Thiago's birth, he joined Barcelona aged 14, and made his first team debut in 2009. After winning honours including four La Liga titles, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup for Barcelona, he was signed by Bayern for €25 million in 2013. At Bayern, he has won 16 trophies, including the Bundesliga in each of his first seven seasons and the UEFA Champions League in 2020 as part of a continental treble.

After helping Spain to European Championships at under-19 and under-21 levels, he made his full international debut in 2011. He was part of the provisional squad for Spain in the 2014 World Cup but withdrew due to a knee injury. Thiago was selected for UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In terms of playing style Thiago excels at pretty much everything you could ask of a midfielder: Deep lying Stevie - check, Alonso-esque pinger of passes - check, Coutinho cunning and footwork in attack - check. Fabinho not quite at the races and we need defensive cover.... check.

Silky footwork, intelligent hold up play and reading of the game are things Thiago also brings in abundance and in a career total to date of 389 games, in which he's played all of those roles, he has scored 45 goals and made 57 assists.

I think a goal or assist every four games from midfield is something we will be okay with :-)

Just think of the possibilities we have in midfield now. Keita is like a new signing, so is Minamino and today we add Thiago. All of a sudden our options have increased massively. Henderson for example could be freed from DM cover to play a more attacking role - one which he often shines in. If he has to drop back to DM though then Thiago can play a more advanced role. Wijnaldum could also get a chance to show us that attacking prowess we know he's been hiding in his Holland locker.

I won't pretend to have the footballing nous to understand all the ways we can now set up in midfield but am excited to hear everyone's thoughts and certainly rotation and rest wise this is a huge boost to our midfield. Again that could have very positive benefits in terms of keeping everyone fit including players like Keita.

All in all this is a fantastic signing and I can't wait to see Thiago take to the pitch.

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