Thiago’s protracted move to Liverpool has been one of the transfer sagas of the summer but there was significant movement yesterday.
As per BBC, the Reds have agreed a fee with Bayern Munich for the midfielder, who will wear number six at Anfield.
His arrival is important to freshen up a squad which has been hugely successful in recent seasons, but it will likely have an impact on some of Jurgen Klopp’s existing squad.
We’ve got three players here who could be impacted – in terms of gametime, position on the pitch or perhaps even a potential exit – by Thiago’s expected arrival.
It’s important to note here that the Telegraph have reported Thiago’s arrival won’t necessarily mean the Dutch international will leave the club.
But he does have just one year left on his contract and has been linked with a move to join his former international manager Ronald Koeman at Barcelona.
Either way, it seems Thiago’s arrival will impact on his gametime. Compared to Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, Wijnaldum’s place in Liverpool’s first choice midfield looks the most precarious.
Thiago offers more artistry than Wijnaldum, whose game is based more around pressing and it will be interesting to see which of those Klopp prioritises.
Liverpool’s opening fixtures of 2020/21
Aston Villa (A)
Sheffield United (H)
Henderson’s status in this Liverpool team is not in doubt, but Thiago’s arrival should mean he plays more often in his preferred box-to-box role.
The England international has been pressed into action at the base of midfield at times under Klopp.
But Thiago is more suited to that controlling role, which should free Henderson up to play further forward on a more regular basis.
£20 million (BBC) man Henderson, as ever, will be instrumental in helping Thiago settle and understand the standards at Anfield.
Milner is an unbelievable professional and clearly exerts huge influence on this Liverpool squad.
But his opportunities for gametime already looked limited this season, and Kostas Tsimikas’ arrival means he shouldn’t be pressed into action at left back either.
Now Thiago has come in and shunted him further down the pecking order.
Perhaps Milner will find himself in the same situation as Adam Lallana at the end of last season; loved at Anfield but allowed to leave in order to get gametime.
An emotional return to Leeds to finish off his career?