Jamie Redknapp has produced a rarely correct assessment of Thiago, with many in the media failing to see what the Spaniard brings to the side in the last year.
The Reds were exceptional at times in their 3-0 victory at Elland Road on Sunday, comprehensively outplaying a Leeds side considered dangerous opponents.
There were impressive performers all over the pitch for Liverpool, with Fabinho a dominant presence in midfield and Salah again proving to be unplayable at times.
Thiago was arguably as good as anyone, however, dictating the pace of the game, biting into tackles and playing a part in two of the Reds’ goals.
Not only did the 30-year-old complete 89 percent of his passes and register an assist, but he also played two key passes, won six of his seven duels and three-quarters of his tackles.
It has been an up-and-down first year at Liverpool for Thiago, with injury problems stunting his progress last season, not to mention the Reds’ all-round struggles on the pitch.
The Spaniard has been used as a scapegoat at times, with some claiming he doesn’t suit Klopp’s team and many lazily claiming he ‘slows down play.’
But Redknapp delivered a staunch defence of Thiago on Sky Sports on Sunday:
? "When Liverpool go on a bad run, people say he slows the play up, he can't handle the intensity, absolute garbage! This guy is one of the best technicians you will see in world football."
Jamie Redknapp calls out the criticisms that Thiago received last season pic.twitter.com/xC6QEG2WQ5
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 12, 2021
“I’ve listened to a lot of people talk about Thiago. When Liverpool go on a bad run people go ‘he slows the play up and can’t handle the intensity’. [It’s] absolute garbage.
“This guy is one of the best technicians you’ll see in world football don’t matter what kind of pressure you put him under, he’s never panicked.
“He relaxes on the ball. There was a lot of times (on Sunday) where he was in good positions to help out the defence.
“He is incredible to watch and it did my head in last year listening to people who don’t understand the midfield role. How to keep the ball, what to do, how to be in the right position. how to show quality, how to set people up for chances.
“It’s because people are always looking for a scapegoat. Someone to say it’s their fault. he is brilliant and that’s why Jurgen Klopp played him today.
“It would have been easy to go with Keita or Henderson and try and outrun this Leeds side. He realised you need a brain. You need someone that’s gonna show composure, be relaxed on the ball and play to a red shirt. That’s’ what he does.”
Redknapp is spot on in his assessment, with Thiago so harshly judged for much of his time at Anfield to date.
There have been clear mitigating circumstances surrounding some of his struggles, but with Liverpool now firing on all cylinders, he looks fit, fresh and ready to go up another level.
It’s also easy to forget that Thiago was arguably the Reds’ best player in the final 10 games of last season, during which time they won eight and drew two of those matches.
Blaming Thiago for any shortcomings has become a lazy narrative and it is refreshing to see a high-profile pundit shoot it down.