Alan Shearer has lauded Thiago Alcantara’s ‘wonderful’ range of passes after naming the Liverpool midfielder in his Team of the Week for the official Premier League website.
The Newcastle legend listed two Reds players in his best-performing eleven of matchweek four, with Trent Alexander-Arnold also included. The England defender impressed Shearer with a creative display from full-back during Sunday’s 3-0 win away to Leeds.
Both Alexander-Arnold and Thiago left Elland Road with assists in their accounts after creating Liverpool’s first and third goals respectively. The former setting Mohamed Salah up to break the deadlock, while the latter found Sadio Mane to finish the scoring.
Thiago impressed Shearer after displaying a superb range of passes from the left-hand side of the Liverpool engine room. He partnered Fabinho and Harvey Elliott in midfield for the Spaniard’s third appearance and first start of the top-flight season.
“A wonderful array of passing throughout and he teed up Sadio Mane to score the final goal,” Shearer said. While noting of Alexander Arnold: “Liverpool’s right-back created the opening goal and did not put a foot wrong all match.”
Alexander-Arnold now has two assists in four Premier League appearances this term after creating Mane’s strike against Burnley last month. The 22-year-old has started each of the Reds’ opening top-flight fixtures, as he seeks to better last season’s seven assists.
His haul marked Alexander-Arnold’s first single-digit return since 2017/18 when the full-back only created two in 19 appearances. The Liverpool-born dynamo offered 12 in 29 games during 2018/19 and a team-high 13 in 38 during 2019/20.
Shearer right to praise Thiago after Liverpool win over Leeds
Shearer is right to praise Thiago for his passing expertise during Liverpool’s win over Leeds at the weekend. While the £200k-a-week maestro is still getting up to speed, he found his rhythm to help breakdown the Whites’ resistance.
Only centre-back Joel Matip attempted (72) and completed (68) more passes than Thiago (59/66) at Elland Road, per WhoScored. The former Bayern Munich technician also offered two key passes, while SofaScore note he found a teammate with each of his four long balls.
His assist for Mane in the 92nd-minute was also the Spaniard’s first in 33 appearances since joining the Reds. Jurgen Klopp will hope Thiago continues to build from his Leeds display that earned Shearer’s praise when Liverpool host AC Milan in the Champions League.