Arsene Wenger has explained why he feels Liverpool have potentially been hindered by the signing of Thiago Alcantara, as the midfielder’s tough start to life at Anfield continues.
The Spaniard arrived on Merseyside in the summer following a hugely successful seven-year stay at Bayern Munich, helping the club to seven successive Bundesliga titles as well as lifting the Champions League last season.
Despite his undoubted passing prowess and technical ability, it’s not exactly been a smooth transition into English football, the playmaker having missed a large chunk of the season due to injury, while he’s also yet to register a goal or an assist in the Premier League.
In the champions most recent league defeat to Leicester City, the 29-year-old gave away the free-kick that sparked the Foxes’ remarkable late flurry, the Spaniard needlessly tripping Harvey Barnes just outside the box.
In truth, the Reds’ defensive injury crisis has forced both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to feature for much of the season at centre-back, leaving Thiago without the midfield security normally provided by the duo and placing an added emphasis on the defensive side of his game.
That being said, according to Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger, Liverpool have ‘lost’ their usual ‘aggression’ in midfield due to the former Barcelona man’s arrival, with the desire for a more technical player potentially inhibiting their game.
“Thiago Alcantara, for me, shows the typical problem of a manager,” Wenger told beIN SPORTS.
“For example Liverpool were very hungry and aggressive in midfield. When you’re manager you want to make the team better and you [sign] a technical player.
“But when you [sign] a technical player you lose the aggression in midfield and you destroy a bit of the strength Liverpool had before.
“They have certainly less capacity today to win the ball back and they suffer a little bit more, so sometimes when you want to improve the team, you take a little something away from the team.”