Thiago Alcantara might not have hit the heights expected of him this season but you can’t fault his drive and work ethic.
Liverpool supporters had hoped his signing from Bayern Munich was a statement of intent in terms of their title defence, but his debut campaign hasn’t quite gone to plan.
But those performances have been few and far between for the Anfield side and he’s struggled to make that same level of impact that once had him rated as one of the best midfielders in the world.
He does deserve some leeway, however, as there’s no denying it takes time to get up to speed playing in the Premier League.
And in fairness, he’s not the only player that has struggled in Jurgen Klopp’s side this term, with Liverpool currently 23 points adrift from Manchester City as big players like Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have gone amiss.
Throw in the fact, he’s joined a new team in Covid times and it’s not an easy transition for any player no matter how good you are.
But he’s started to show signs of life in recent weeks including an impressive performance in a 2-0 win over Southampton and netting his first Liverpool goal.
And it seems like the turning point could have been back in April when he was dropped for both legs against Real Madrid as the Reds were knocked out of the Champions League.
According to The Athletic , the Spaniard took it as a challenge to go and prove to Klopp he should be in the starting XI.
He reportedly ‘doubled’ his efforts on the training ground to impress the Liverpool boss and eventually retain his place in the side.
A player of Thiago’s quality and experience could have easily taken that the wrong way, but it speaks volumes that he responded in the manner he did.
And it seems he and Liverpool are now reaping the rewards for that with the midfielder finishing the season strongly, primed to kick on and show fans the real Thiago Alcantara next year.