Liverpool star Thiago has two tests to overcome vs Man Utd to prove Jurgen Klopp right

Liverpool: Klopp likens returning Thiago to a new signing

Thiago Alcantara is well established as one of the best midfielders in the world but he will face his first true test in Liverpool colours this afternoon when he is expected to line up against Manchester United. Thiago joining Liverpool was the main transfer saga last summer on whether or not it would happen.

The reports began early in the summer suggesting Thiago was keen to move to Anfield, but it initially appeared as though Liverpool were reluctant to meet Bayern Munich’s asking price.

After a long period of back and forth though, Liverpool eventually came to an agreement where they would pay just £5million up front with the overall deal costing £20m guaranteed.

Liverpool fans rejoiced after the announcement but they’ve been starved of seeing their marquee signing play this season.

He showed glimpses of his world class ability on his debut against Chelsea but then tested positive for coronavirus, which ruled him out of games against Arsenal and Aston Villa.

JUST IN: Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed to sign contract extension

The Spanish maestro made his return in the Merseyside derby but a late challenge from Richarlison saw him suffer a knee injury and the midfielder has only just recovered to full fitness.

A cameo appearance off the bench against Newcastle was followed by a first start since October against Southampton, but he was unable to influence the game as Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat.

He was given more minutes against Aston Villa’s youth team in the FA Cup last week though and appears to be at full strength heading into today’s crunch match against United.

There will be plenty of anticipation among Liverpool fans to see Thiago in action for the first time at Anfield.

DON’T MISS

And that will be Thiago’s first big test. While supporters won’t be in the ground for the match, players have still spoken of the pressure they feel when walking out onto the hollowed turf at Anfield for the first time.

All eyes will be on Thiago with high expectations for the midfielder to rediscover his best form he has shown throughout his career at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Up against United though, he faces arguably his toughest test of all with trying to halt Bruno Fernandes.

While Thiago is more dangerous on the ball and finding a pass, he proved last year at Bayern that he’s also more than capable of performing on the defensive side.

He was up there with the best in terms of ball recoveries and interceptions in the Bundesliga last season and the Spain international will more than likely have to call upon those skills against United.

Klopp said this week that having the “exceptional” Thiago back fully fit is like having “a new signing”.

And there will certainly be a similar level of excitement and anticipation from Liverpool fans to see Thiago in action at Anfield for the first time.

Now the midfielder faces his first real test in Liverpool colours with the Reds battling to return to the top of the table.

Source: Read Full Article