Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged Thiago to continue working on adapting his playing style to meet the demands of a Reds midfielder.
Since his highly anticipated move from Bayern Munich last summer, Thiago has yet to really hit the heights expected of him, with injuries and a positive COVID-19 test contributing to a disrupted debut season.
Despite his bumpy start, Klopp was adamant that ‘world-class’ Thiago will show his true quality soon, but he admitted that the Spaniard is yet to fully grasp what he asks his Liverpool midfielders to do during games.
“The start was not perfect because he got COVID and got injured early,” said the boss (via The Guardian). “That makes everything a little more difficult. He showed what kind of a player he can and will be for us, so there is much more to come.
“It is now a year, but really it is actually only half a year because of all the things that happened; coming into a new club in the most difficult period of all our lives. He settled really well. His family is here and he is in the middle of the team and a really good character and personality, and obviously a world-class player.
“All the technical stuff is easy for him but he has to and has had to adapt to the way we defend. More often we play using a slightly more offensive player as one of the double six than Bayern Munich.
“You have to be more offensive and defensive as one of our double sixes. You have to play between the lines. You can drop to the last line to receive the ball, but not always. We want him to play his natural football and there are just a couple of things he has to adapt for how we play. He did that.
“He is a playmaker, obviously, who can sometimes be a little deeper, but he must be there in the two ‘interesting’ lines of the opponent as well. In a closed area with his passing he is really good, and he can chip balls into each area like a world-class golfer. He does that without even thinking. I love the way he plays. It’s a complex position to be the number eight for us.”
Thiago showed his class in his first start of the season against Leeds, picking up the assist for Sadio Mane’s stoppage-time strike and pulling the strings in Klopp’s midfield.Internet Explorer Channel Network