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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

‘Average’ Liverpool playmaker tipped to leave European football

Thiago hasn’t been the player Liverpool were hoping for when they signed him four years ago.

That is the view of former attacker Stan Collymore, who believes the Spanish playmaker has failed to ‘live up to expectations’ since joining from Bayern Munich.

Despite arriving in the Premier League as one of Europe’s most decorated midfielders, Thiago, 32, has struggled to adapt to England’s physical and fast-paced top flight.

The 32-year-old has struggled with injuries and fitness issues, including a hip injury last year that saw him miss over 40 games. And despite making his comeback during Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat away to Arsenal last weekend, Thiago, after being on the Emirates pitch for just five minutes, suffered another setback; this time a muscle strain that is expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.

Consequently, with his contract set to expire in the summer, it is reasonable to assume the former Bayern and Barcelona star will not feature for Liverpool again, and Collymore not only agrees but also suspects the midfielder’s time in European football is over.

“He’s been average for them since he joined from Bayern Munich,” he said in an exclusive interview.

“I think he’s probably been a great addition to the dressing room with his experience, professionalism and leadership qualities, but just talking about his on-field contributions, I don’t think he’s really lived up to expectations.

“His contract expires at the end of the season and I think it’s a given that it won’t be extended. He’s 32 years old and with injuries clearly catching him up, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him drift off to either the MLS or Saudi’s Pro League in the summer. I certainly don’t think any top European club are going to make him an offer — I think this phase of his career is probably over with now.”

Since joining the Reds, Thiago, who has represented Spain on 46 occasions, has managed just nine direct goal contributions in 98 games in all competitions.

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