Michael Owen has delivered an unfavourable verdict on Thiago Alcantara – only two months after he heaped praise on the Liverpool midfielder.
Thiago left Bayern Munich to move to Anfield in a £25million transfer last summer but has failed to live up to expectations with the Reds.
The Spaniard has certainly shown glimpses of his immaculate passing and silky technique on the ball, and Owen was keen to point this out in January.
“This fella just makes me want to watch football 24 hours a day,” the former Liverpool ace told BT Sport .
“The way he looks around, the way he gives it the eyes, there’s nobody in the Premier League, nobody, that plays like him.
“He’s playing a different type of game than everyone else. His disguise on passes is unbelievable.”
But on the other hand, Thiago has been in the spotlight for frequently conceding fouls and there are concerns over his suitability for Jurgen Klopp’s high-intensity brand of football.
It appears Owen has been less convinced by the 29-year-old’s recent performances and he echoed Paul Scholes’ criticism of the player.
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“He’s struggling, like the rest of the team but it’s not his fault,” Owen told Premier League Productions .
“I agree with Scholesy that he’s a central player. Playing out wide, you need more legs. But if you put him central then that goes against what Liverpool have based their success on.
“You could probably get away with it with the lesser teams when you just have loads of possession and he’s basically pulling the strings everywhere.
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“But to answer your question, a one-off game, Champions League final tomorrow and my whole squad was fit. I would go back to type and no (he does not play). How did we win the Champions League?
“The hardest thing I feel watching him is that he’s got more talent in his little finger than virtually every midfielder in that team.
“He’s so talented. He’s one of the most talented in the world, yet we are saying if it was a big game tomorrow.
“Would you play him? And I think your general answer is you would probably go with your (Jordan) Hendersons, Fabinhos and (Georginio) Wijnaldums.”
Thiago is yet to score or assist in his 16 appearances for Liverpool but will have another chance to make his mark as the Reds host Chelsea on Thursday.
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