Chris Sutton says it “isn’t fair” to blame Liverpool “scapegoat” Thiago Alcantara for their poor results this season.
The former Barcelona midfielder was expected to take Liverpool to another level again when he arrived from Bayern Munich for £20m in the summer transfer window.
However, he hasn’t lived up to those expectations with the Reds struggling in the Premier League this season.
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There have been accusations that he doesn’t fit into the current Liverpool side while some fans and pundits reckon he slows the game down too much.
Jamie Carragher claimed yesterday that “the opposite is true” and Sutton agrees with that notion.
Sutton wrote in his column for the Daily Mail: “We haven’t seen the Bayern version of Thiago in Liverpool’s midfield yet. That’s no secret.
“But to say he is the reason Liverpool’s rhythm is off isn’t fair. He does not deserve to be a scapegoat for their poor results. People were raving about Thiago after his debut in September, remember.
“He came on at half-time against Chelsea and completed more passes in 45 minutes than any opposition player managed in 90.
“Everything went through him and Liverpool won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to two second-half goals. That day his desire to get the ball forward was evident.
“There were more rave reports about him after his first start at Everton, too. He brought class to the chaos in that 2-2 draw at Goodison.
“Jordan Henderson thought he had made it 3-2 in stoppage time until VAR decided Sadio Mane’s sleeve was offside. It wasn’t to be for Liverpool, but it was Thiago’s no-look through ball which started that move. He shaped to go sideways but drilled it into Mane instead.”