Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand says he feels sorry for Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
The Spain international, who is widely recognised as one of the finest midfielders on the planet, joined the club in the summer for a £20million fee.
Having won seven Bundelisga titles, and the Champions League last summer, the 29-year-old fancied a new challenge with the freshly crowned Premier League champions.
But things haven’t gone to plan as of yet for Thiago. Having recovered from a knee problem himself, the Spaniard has walked straight into an injury crisis on Merseyside.
With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both sidelined, and Joel Matip’s fitness inconsistent, both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have been called upon to fill in at the back.
It’s left Thiago without much support in midfield and prior to the Tottenham game he was yet to win a single game for the club.
And when asked if Thiago improves Liverpool’s midfield, Ferdinand replied: “100 per cent in certain aspects. You see with the ball he’s just so easy on the eye. The game looks so easy to him. He manipulates the ball as well as anybody on the planet. His range of passing is superb.
“He brings something different in terms of creatively and being able to conduct a game. But then you lose something, maybe, in the physical aspect.
“Liverpool’s foundations of winning in the past two years has been that engine room in the midfield of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Fabinho. Working hard and giving it to the strikers.
“He’s that little dimension that’s slightly different that Klopp’s trying to introduce into this team.”
Ferdinand added that he actually feels sorry for the midfielder, who is unable to profit in a beleaguered side.
“I feel sorry for him in a lot respects in that he’s come into a team that has been dismantled through injuries,” the former England defender continued.
“He’s having to fill in, had his own injuries as well which isn’t always good.
“Coming to a new club, new culture, new country – so difficult. No matter how experiences you are. He’s had his hands on every trophy available as a player.
“It’s difficult for him.”