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Klopp hails Thiago as “like a new signing” ahead of Anfield debut for Liverpool

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Thiago is set to make his first appearance for Liverpool at Anfield in Sunday’s title clash with Man United, and Jurgen Klopp has praised him as “like a new signing.”

Thiago is, of course, by definition a new signing, but the Spaniard is still new to the Reds having only played five times in the four months since his £25 million switch from Bayern Munich.

Three of those have come in the last three weeks, with the Liverpool’s No. 6 having recovered from a long-term knee injury to stamp his influence on proceedings against Newcastle, Southampton and Aston Villa.

While results have not gone the Reds’ way in the Premier League of late, Thiago was arguably the standout performer in each of his outings since returning.

And having yet to feature at Anfield so far, Klopp has looked ahead to his home bow against United with optimism, hailing the 29-year-old as “like a new signing” who can contribute “for a long time.”

“We will see [if he makes his first Anfield start on Sunday],” Klopp told reporters.

“The most important thing is he’s fit, he trained, bam, all good. He had now 90 and 45 minutes in the last two games.

“So we will see if he can play, which position he will play, because there are obviously different options.

“But it’s really good to have him around now, because he’s a really good guy and obviously an exceptional football player.

“So yes, it’s like a new signing, obviously. I know it was just to put the pressure off the situation a little bit when I said ‘we should sign Thiago‘ [before his return from injury], but we did now!

“Now he’s here, and let’s hope it will stay like this for a long, long, long, long time.”

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 30, 2020: Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Describing a player as “like a new signing” has long been a cliche in football, but in Thiago‘s case it is certainly true, as he is yet to be given the platform to express himself on a long-term basis.

Sunday will bring his biggest game yet, against a side he has never faced before in his career in United, and Klopp will be looking for his summer arrival to make a big impact.

It could be that Thiago‘s slick, incisive passing proves key against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who are likely to sit back and look to threaten on the counter.

There are no doubts over Thiago‘s ability, and his performances so far, so all eyes will be on the Spain international as he heads out onto the Anfield turf for the first time as a Liverpool player.

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