Kevin Phillips has tipped Thiago Alcantara to “explode” next season after a Liverpool debut campaign that has failed to live up to expectations.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Golden Boot winner is in no doubt about the midfielder’s calibre and potential to thrive in the Premier League.
Phillips believes the 2020 summer signing is partly a victim of Liverpool’s injury problems that have decimated their defence and led to lengthy spells at the back for his midfield allies.
Fabinho has spent most of the campaign playing at centre-back and Jordan Henderson had an extended spell in the role before his injury last weekend.
Phillips anticipates Thiago will be seen to be more effective next season when he expects the team to function better.
“Liverpool will come back,” he told Football Insider. “They’re just having a terrible season, bad luck, everything that can go wrong has gone wrong.
“Even Thiago coming in has struggled a little bit even though he’s a quality player.
“He’s looked good at times, but we haven’t seen the best of him and I don’t think we will until next season when everyone is back fit.
“Then, he could be a massive influence in the Premier League and on this Liverpool side. He will explode at some point and start running the big games, he’s that good.”
The Spanish midfielder agreed four-year contract when he joined from Bayern Munich last summer.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 18, 2020
Liverpool paid the Champions League holders an initial £20million rising to a potential £25m for him.
He missed two months of the season with a knee injury but has clocked up nine league starts among 15 appearances in all competitions.