Thiago Rumours has risen ever since he decided not to extend his contract with Bayern back in May 2020. Thiago has been linked with several clubs. Liverpool was in the frontline, but there hasn’t been any opening bid from the Premier League giants. Lately, there have been speculations of Barcelona eyeing the Spaniard and seeking to bring him back to Camp nou.
PLAYING STYLE AND SKILLS
Thiago is a brilliantly creative and technically gifted midfielder. He has excellent dribbling skills as well as outrageous ball control which allows him to help the team defensively as well as offensively. He has way too many traits as a midfielder which makes him stand out among the best midfielders currently in Europe.
Let’s see a few examples:
In the above example, you see how he took over six defenders with an overhead pass laying the ball for Muller in a position by which just a touch from Muller is enough for him to put the ball in the net. Currently, in Barcelona, we have only seen Messi executing sumptuous moves like that. It’s not an easy ball and requires a lot of confidence to do so, even though Arthur had excellent ball control he lacked in this aspect, making those pass with grace.
Thiago offers a variation in the kind of passes he makes. He can make those through balls; he can make those switch passes when there’s pressure, he’s so confident with those kind of creative passes which is precisely something our current midfield at Barcelona lacks.
We all are aware of the signature move, “The Thiago turn”. He waits for the ball to arrive and then spins right at the moment. When opponent feel like now they will take the ball off him, Thiago turns past them, leaving them dead behind. This not only helps him get out of the arriving pressure but also help create a space to move the ball more forward.
Another excellent trait of Thiago is, how he can control his acceleration even under Pressure. In the above example, you can see how quickly he was able to knock off four opponents who were approaching him with his sudden drift in acceleration. This allows him a space to take on the ball and create some critical chances upfront. De jong displays this kind of move at times too.
We have often witnessed Barcelona suffering when they face a defensive team, a team which is playing with a high defensive line. The only legit way to counter it is, by making that long ball towards a striker who can make that run past the defensive line, receive the ball and generate chances.
The problem currently at Barcelona is, Messi goes deep in such games and when he is making those long balls, the striker upfront, usually Suarez fails to make that run and it goes in vain. And, the other midfielders aren’t able to make such pass of this calibre.
With the addition of Thiago (if happens), there would be an extra hand in the midfield and Messi would remain more as a forward who can totally understand and execute those chances.
Thiago is good at winning the ball as well. He has a muscular physique contrary to the midfielders we have which offer an extra boost to the team. Vidal at Barcelona is good at taking the ball off the opponents, but at times, it’s not neat and often ends up with a booking. Thiago understands the opponents; he seeks the possible next move of the opponent and steps in, at the right moment.
The most crucial reason for Barcelona to get Thiago is his vision, his creativity. There’s something unique and beautiful about La Masia; it’s the Barca gene, the skill and the vision that they inject in their players from that early age which makes them do the impossible.
We have seen how Xavi, Iniesta used to make those unbelievable passes that no one can even think of. We see how Messi executes them with pure elegance. Even with minimal opportunities, we saw Puig displaying that in the midfield. Even rarely, Roberto shows those moves and anticipation, reflecting that typical La Masia brain.
Thiago is also a La Masia graduate so, it isn’t surprising the kind of vision he possesses.
In the above example, you see how with one move, he can put his team in goal scoring position similar to the first example I have discussed here. This one is quite difficult to execute as it’s not just a through ball, but a through-ball with slight turning making it possible for the central striker to reach the ball.
In the season 19/20 for Bayern, Thiago managed 90% passing accuracy on average and 86% successful dribbles per game.
HISTORY AT BARCELONA
At the age of 14, Thiago joined La Masia. He waited almost four years to make his debut in the first team as on 17 May 2009. Thiago scored a total of 11 goals for Barcelona despite struggling a lot to get as many mins he deserved.
On 14 July 2013, Thiago joined Bayern Munich on a four-year deal , for a €25 million fee despite a new contract Barcelona had given Thiago in 2011 which would set his release clause at €90 million. But, Barcelona failed to fulfil clauses in the contract relating to the amount of playing time that Thiago received, and hence, the player’s buy-out clause dropped to €18m.
It indeed wasn’t a right way some young talent to depart from a club; a club like Barcelona which used to rely on young promising players coming from the academy.
Bayern’s new manager then, Pep Guardiola had said this before the transfer of Thiago to Bayern.
“I spoke to the club and told them about my concept and told them why I want Thiago. He is the only player that I want. It will be him or no one.”
Says a lot about the quality he had by how Pep said this on him. Even Recently he was asked about Thiago’s ongoing link with Liverpool. Answering to If he would thrive in the Premier League, he said, “A player who plays for Barcelona and Bayern Munich can play in the Premier League.”
“Of course he can play. He’s an exceptional player, but I don’t know what he’s going to do.”
Despite how things turned out in the past for Thiago, it is a known fact that Thiago loves Barcelona; he loves Messi, he loves his Spanish mates, he loves this City. No matter how much this club looks rotten currently if Barcelona would approach Thiago, I dont believe Thiago will refuse. The main problem currently is Koeman’s desire to bring Wijnaldum.
No matter what, the bottom line is, there’s someone who has that Barca’s DNA, is available in the market for a similar price and is of similar age. Moreover, Thiago has a lot more to offer in this cracked midfield of Barcelona than Wijnaldum. So, it doesn’t seem a right think Koeman is seeking for.
But, nothing has been finalized yet. There are different Thiago rumours every day. Some of the members of the board prefer Thiago, and despite all the talks, Liverpool hasn’t made an official bid yet. So, the race is still open. Thiago would be the best thing for Barcelona but time will tell if Barcelona will go for him.