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Jurgen Klopp says criticism of Thiago’s form at Liverpool is “bollocks”

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Jurgen Klopp has dismissed criticism of Thiago‘s early form at Liverpool as “bollocks,” with the manager attempting to explain why his No. 6 has taken time to adapt.

Thiago made his 10th start for the Reds in the 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in midweek, which came five months after he completed his £25 million move from Bayern Munich.

It has, clearly, not been a straightforward start to life at Anfield for the Spaniard, with injury sustained in October’s Merseyside derby following a bout of COVID-19 soon after his arrival.

But his reputation as a world-class midfielder – having joined months on from winning his second Champions League – has increased scrutiny over his displays, with critics focusing on his frequent bookings and a perceived tendency to slow down play.

Addressing this in an interview with Sky Sports, Klopp labelled this as “bollocks,” detailing the difficulty Thiago has faced in his first months with Liverpool.

“He came in late, which is just the nature of some transfers, then he got Covid, got injured, and still had to adapt to a new team – and a team which was not exactly flying with no problems at all,” he said.

“We’ve had to rebuild the team pretty much every three days because of changing the last line and changing a lot of things, so that’s just really unlucky for Thiago.

“But he has played some exceptional games and had some exceptional moments on the pitch, and he is so respected in the squad.

“It’s just a public perception. ‘Oh, Thiago is in and we don’t perform well anymore’.

“These kind of things are just bollocks, let me say it like that! They are just not right.”

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 St. James’ Park. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp does, however, admit that Liverpool are yet to see the best of Thiago, with the 29-year-old having grown accustomed to a “different style” at Bayern.

“Everybody needs time to adapt,” he stressed.

“Bayern played a different style, in a different league, and were much more dominant in the Bundesliga than any team can be in the Premier League.

“So, that’s all different. But thank God, we are all smart enough to judge the situation correctly here.

Thiago can play better football, yes, of course, but we all can play better football. No doubt about it.”

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