It is a bitter blow for Liverpool and their No. 6 who, according to reports, will be absent for around six weeks – though, as history will tell us, it could well be longer.
Given the injury situation at Anfield at present, with Ibrahima Konate, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones, Kostas Tsimikas, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Caoimhin Kelleher also out, it has only heightened calls for a new signing before September 1.
But as supporters took to social media in reaction to the news of Thiago‘s layoff, many instead looked to an option already in the squad.
There was frustration and concern over Thiago…
Liverpool changed what had been a very successful system to accommodate Thiago. Made sense given his quality too. But if he misses the next 9 games, as expected, he’ll have missed 53 of the 124 games he could have played in. Biggest ability is availability. It’s a huge issue.
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) August 8, 2022
Thiago played 54% of mins possible in his first season with us & last season he played 45%. Great midfielder but unfortunately not reliable. Cruel given how good he is.
— Moby ?? (@Mobyhaque1) August 7, 2022
Thiago reportedly only out for a couple of weeks, rather than the feared 4-6.
Klopp in October: "Thiago is still a couple of weeks away."
We've seen one before. Multiple times.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) August 8, 2022
Three seasons at Liverpool, each time he’s made two starts at most before suffering a lengthy injury. Some real bad luck. https://t.co/JFoaTOPuXa
— Andrew Beasley ? (@BassTunedToRed) August 8, 2022
Can we just restart this season please. https://t.co/Ajem8TtZ56
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) August 8, 2022
No Thiago for 6 weeks…. pic.twitter.com/wH08hTnbyU
— Halps ???? (@LFCHalps) August 8, 2022
Everyone gutted about Thiago. I genuinely thought it’d be 3 months, so strangely calm.
Midfield is a problem, but I’m resigned to the club signing nobody. Hopefully Klopp will start Nunez and ideally Elliott then change the formation.
— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) August 9, 2022
But also hope that Keita can take over…
The midfield should be Keita-Fab-Elliott until Thiago is fit I don’t wanna hear anything else.
— ?? (@ZachFtbl) August 8, 2022
I LOVE Thiago
Liverpool are a 98pts a season team with Thiago (and Van Dijk) playing
an 80pts a season team when he isnt
he averages 27 games a season, he averaged 27 games a season when we bought him
Restoring Naby to RBL availability is the key to our season
— SimonBrundish (@SimonBrundish) August 9, 2022
As long as Keita starts we’ll win our games till Thiago comes back
— ?? (@LFCYussef) August 8, 2022
Hate me for saying this but the only reason I’m not worried about Thiago’s injury is because we have Keita. He’s very good in the LCM role and as long as Ely or Carvalho play instead of Henderson, we should be putting in some very good performances in the near future.
— ? (@IDONTM1SSCUH) August 8, 2022
Thiago’s injury means all the pressure will now be placed on Keita’s shoulders, who will undoubtedly pick up a knock until Thiago’s return in mid-to-late September. We’ve also got to rely on 36-year old Milner’s fitness to provide back up to our other three fit midfielders. Mad.
— Chris ?? (@TheVirgilEffect) August 8, 2022
There is cause of pessimism when it comes to hopes that Keita can serve as the alternative to Thiago, given the Guinean’s own availability issues.
In fact, it is still not guaranteed that he will be ready for the visit of Crystal Palace on Monday night, with Jurgen Klopp casting doubt in his post-Fulham press conference due to an ongoing illness.
But Keita is the best like-for-like Thiago replacement within the Liverpool squad, and it should be noted that last season he made the most appearances in a single campaign with the Reds so far, with 40.