“He’s one of the world’s best technicians”

Jamie Redknapp has defended Liverpool star Thiago Alcantara against critics who claimed the midfielder couldn’t handle the intensity of the Premier League.

The 48-year-old labeled the criticism “absolute garbage” and heaped praise on the Spaniard for his performance in the Reds’ 3-0 win over Leeds United on Sunday.

He said after the match:

“I’ve listened to a lot of people talk about Thiago. When Liverpool go on a bad run people go ‘he slows the play up and can’t handle the intensity’. Absolute garbage.

“This guy is one of the best technicians you’ll see in world football don’t matter what kind of pressure you put him under, he’s never panicked. He relaxes on the ball. There was a lot of times (on Sunday) where he was in good positions to help out the defence.”

The Sky Sports pundit added:

“He is incredible to watch and it did my head in last year listening to people who don’t understand the midfield role. How to keep the ball, what to do, how to be in the right position. how to show quality, how to set people up for chances.

“It’s because people are always looking for a scapegoat. Someone to say it’s their fault. He is brilliant and that’s why Jurgen Klopp played him today.”

Thiago Alcantara subject of intense criticism since Liverpool move

Liverpool signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in 2020
Liverpool signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in 2020

Thiago Alcantara has been on the receiving end of intense criticism since his arrival at Anfield in 2020.

Liverpool signed the Spain international from Bayern Munich for €30 million (£27.3m) to add some flair to their midfield. However, injuries, a COVID-19 diagnosis and a general dip in form meant that the midfielder couldn’t establish himself in the starting line-up immediately.

Moreover, the Reds’ dispiriting title defense and their subsequent struggles made him the perfect scapegoat for disappointed fans.

Thiago Alcantara has registered one assist in three Premier League appearances this season but is yet to open his scoring account. The assist came in Liverpool’s win over Leeds United over the weekend.

Liverpool currently occupy third place in the Premier League table and are level on points with first-placed Manchester United and second-placed Chelsea. They will next face AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

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Edited by Arjun Panchadar

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