Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has received praise from ex-Red Harry Kewell despite his slow start to life at Anfield this season.
The Spain international was a star player at Bayern Munich and played a key role in their treble win last season before leaving to join Liverpool.
It’s not gone to plan for Alcantara in England so far, however, though Kewell still rates him very highly.
The former LFC winger actually thinks Alcantara may be trying too hard at the moment, and that he’ll hopefully settle down soon.
It might have helped Liverpool to have a more settled midfield this season, with Jordan Henderson often having to drop back to fill in in defence due to injuries.
Kewell feels the modern game means midfielders don’t have that same chance to form partnerships like they used to, however.
Kewell, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Leeds v Sheffield United, said: “I think Thiago Alcantara is one of the best players in the world.
“People might disagree with that but I think he’s just trying a little bit too hard at the moment. His vision is brilliant, his distribution is excellent. He’s just got to adapt to the English way.
“Once he’s done that, Liverpool have got a phenomenal midfielder on their hands.
“When people say you need to have relationships with certain teammates in football – particularly in that midfield area – I do agree to some extent, but unfortunately we’re now playing in a time where games are coming thick and fast.
“It’s impossible to be able to have partnerships that can play together consistently. You can probably play a pairing for maybe 30 games in a season absolute maximum, hoping they both stay injury and suspension free.
“So you need at least four different options and connections in that midfield area, so it shouldn’t matter that Thiago hasn’t been able to play with Jordan Henderson as much as we’d have perhaps liked to have seen this season.
“Liverpool do have those connections I talk about, but it’s just that people want to see the same players alongside each other week-in, week-out, and I just don’t think you can do that in this day and age.”
Liverpool fans will certainly hope to see more from Alcantara soon after a generally disappointing season for the club.
If the Merseyside giants can get the former Bayern man playing at his best, they’ll surely be a totally different proposition next season.