How Spain manager change could impact Thiago’s international future

The Spanish football federation announced on Thursday that Luis Enrique would not be continuing as the national team manager, so could that be good news for Thiago‘s international future?

The Liverpool midfielder was left out of Enrique’s 26-man squad for the World Cup, with Spain being knocked out of the tournament by Morocco on penalties earlier this week.

Thiago wasn’t the only big name who missed out on a spot in the squad, with David De Gea and Sergio Ramos, both of whom have also enjoyed plenty of success with Spain in the past, also left out.

However, having failed to make it past the round of 16, Enrique’s idea to put faith in Spain’s younger generation of players didn’t go to plan.

Shortly after Enrique’s departure was confirmed on Thursday, Luis de la Fuente was announced as his replacement.

Good news for Thiago? Well, De La Fuente takes over having coached Spain at various age levels since 2013, meaning he has worked with a lot of the young players Enrique drafted into the squad for the World Cup.

Barcelona youngsters Pedri and Gavi both started alongside Sergio Busquets in midfield in Qatar, and look set to be key players for the Spanish national team going forward.

Both are huge talents, and thoroughly deserve to be in and around the squad, but many believe Spain would have benefited from having Thiago as a squad option at the very least.

His last appearance for Spain came at the end of last season, with the likes of Marcos Llorente, Dani Olmo, Koke and Carlos Soler preferred ahead of him since then.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Thiago Alcantara of Spain runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Federico Bernardeschi of Italy during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between Italy and Spain at Wembley Stadium on July 06, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - UEFA)

De La Fuente has worked with Pedri, Gavi and a number of Spain’s young talents at youth level, and given Spain have chosen to replace Enrique internally, you would expect the focus to remain on their next generation of players.

Thiago, though, is still just 31, and his performances for Liverpool prove he is still more than capable of contributing at international level.

The former Bayern Munich midfielder is currently away in Dubai with the rest of his Reds’ team-mates, with his omission from Spain’s World Cup squad offering him some time to relax before the second half of the season.

Spain’s next international fixtures are scheduled to take place next March, when they’ll face Norway and Scotland in EURO 2024 qualifiers, and it will be interesting to see if Thiago makes De La Fuente’s first squad.