How Thiago Compares to Liverpool's Current Midfield Options

With Thiago set to leave European champions Bayern Munich this summer and Liverpool his most likely destination, many questions have been raised over the potential switch's viability.

Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman's arrival at Barcelona has seen Gini Wijnaldum reportedly on the Dutchman's shortlist of summer signings and the Dutch midfielder's exit could pave the way for Thiago's arrival at Anfield.

But just what can Thiago, now 29, bring to this Liverpool side? And is he worth the Reds altering their typically strict transfer policy for?

Here's how his 2019/20 statistics (all competitions) rank against Jurgen Klopp's current midfield options.

1. Goals

Jurgen Klopp side typically relies heavily on the front three for goals, with the midfielders performing different tasks. However, there were some key goalscorers in Liverpool's engine room last season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted the most goals in all competitions when compared to Liverpool's other midfielders, although he is often played higher up the pitch.

Goals have also been free-flowing in Thiago's Bayern Munich team. The Spain international is not much of a regular goal getter, but did chip in with three last season - all in the Bundesliga.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 8
Georginio Wijnaldum - 6
Jordan Henderson - 4
Naby Keita - 4
James Milner - 4
Thiago - 3
Fabinho - 2

2. Assists

The FWA Footballer of the Year, Jordan Henderson, had an excellent season at the heart of Liverpool's midfield.

The Reds' captain, renowned for his ability to break up the play and redistribute the ball, was also creative outlet in Liverpool's midfield last season.

Henderson registered five assists, followed closely by Fabinho with four. Wijnaldum, however, registered no assists all season.

Thiago, who is usually known for his creativity, rarely made the final pass for Bayern in 2019/20 and made just two assists last season for his Bayern Munich teammates.

Jordan Henderson - 5
Fabinho - 4
James Milner - 3
Naby Keita - 3
Thiago - 2
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 2
Georginio Wijnaldum - 0

3. Tackles (Per Game)

Whilst many are getting excited over the prospect of Thiago's creative eye linking up with Liverpool's front three, there is also a more defensive side to his game which is just as important.

The Bayern Munich midfielder registered more tackles per game last season than any of Liverpool's current crop - a stat which could raise a few eyebrows.

Thiago even had a marginally superior tackles per game rate than Fabinho, who enjoyed another outstanding season as the anchor in front of Liverpool's defence.

Thiago - 2.3
Fabinho - 2.2
Jordan Henderson - 2.1
Naby Keita - 1.8
Georginio Wijnaldum - 1
James Milner - 0.9
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 0.7

4. Key Passes (Per Game)

Here's where Thiago's creative edge can really help Liverpool. The Spaniard averaged one 'key pass' per game last season, which is a higher average than any of the Reds' current midfielders managed.

With right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold rapidly becoming an outstanding playmaker in the Liverpool side, to bring in a midfielder with a similar level of creativity could further provide Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino with incredibly efficient service from all angles.

Thiago - 1
Jordan Henderson - 0.9
Naby Keita - 0.9
James Milner - 0.7
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 0.6
Fabinho - 0.6
Georginio Wijnaldum - 0.6

5. Interceptions (per game)

Similar to his tackles per game, Thiago is top of the list when it comes to interceptions.

The midfielder even managed on average 0.8 more interceptions per game than Liverpool's Fabinho.

This, alongside the tackles stat, goes a long way to show the type of midfielder Jurgen Klopp would be getting. Thiago isn't a 'luxury player'. He is a creative engine who works hard for his team in and out of possession.

Thiago - 2
Fabinho - 1.2
Jordan Henderson - 1.1
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 0.7
Naby Keita - 0.5
Georginio Wijnaldum - 0.5
James Milner - 0.3

6. Pass Completion

Georginio Wijnaldum had the best pass completion record over the course of 2019/20, when compared to other midfielders at Anfield, averaging at an impressive 91%.

However, should the midfielder complete a move to Barcelona this summer, Thiago's ability to retain possession would be similar to that of the Dutchman.

Georginio Wijnaldum - 91%
Thiago - 90.6%
Naby Keita - 89.3%
Fabinho - 87.1%
James Milner - 86.8%
Jordan Henderson - 84.4%
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 83.2%

7. Games Missed Through Injury

Losing Wijnaldum would be a big blow for Klopp particularly when it comes to reliability.

Wijnaldum, who could be Barça-bound, didn't miss a single game through injury last season, and played more minutes than any other Reds midfielder.

Naby Keita, meanwhile, missed the most amount of games and has struggled with fitness and form since his 2018 arrival.

Thiago missed nine games in 2019/20 and has only played 30 games in a league season once in his entire career to date.

Naby Keita - 17
Fabinho - 13
Thiago - 9
Jordan Henderson - 8
James Milner - 8
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 5
Georginio Wijnaldum - 0

Source : 90min