Liverpool were shocking in midfield on Sunday as they allowed a two-goal lead to slip at Stamford Bridge and Graeme Souness says the Reds need more of a maestro in midfield.
There is no surprise that Jurgen Klopp’s side has a 100% win rate with Thiago in the side this season.
The Spaniard is the only player that the German has at his disposal who is able to put his foot on the ball under immense pressure and pick out a pinpoint pass between the lines.
At Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel’s men kept Liverpool penned in their own half by man-marking Jordan Henderson and James Milner as they aren’t the best at receiving the ball under pressure with their backs to the opposition goal.
This is why I’m baffled Naby Keita didn’t start but it underlines the need for Thiago to find fitness but moving forward, Liverpool need to identify a long-term plan as the former Bayern Munich star is 31 in April.
“Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner were not at the races today,” Souness told Sky Sports. “They were bossed and bullied by Chelsea’s midfield. It wasn’t the Liverpool we’re seeing of the last three, four years where they bullied teams.
“Liverpool need more of a maestro in there, they go and get Thiago which is certainly better than what they’ve had.
“But doing that you lose that momentum in terms of pressing, being aggressive and always on the front foot.
“They were exposed today Liverpool by the midfield not really being able to manage Chelsea’s midfield. You always felt as if Liverpool were on the back foot.”
Frenkie De Jong would be my pick for the future even if it’s unlikely new Barcelona boss will be willing to part with the Dutchman, who is valued at £63million.
His ability to combine setting the tempo of games in La Liga, fighting to win the ball back and carrying the ball through the centre of the pitch make him the ideal player to come in and help Liverpool control matches.
At Liverpool, he would not be tasked with being a ball carrier but his unreal press resistance would be so valuable to the Reds as it was when Georginio Wijnaldum was at the club.
It takes so much pressure off Liverpool when you have a player that can wriggle away from one or two players to recycle play and if you compare that to a midfield of Fabinho, Milner and Henderson, you begin to realise why the Reds are so predictable at the moment.