Barcelona are looking for some midfield reinforcements in the market, especially after the retirement of Xavi Hernandez in 2015 and with Iniesta, playing his final years at the top level, Barca soon need one or two replacement for the duo in midfield. However, there are very few players who have the mettle to replace two of football’s finest midfielders in the past decade or so. One of which of course, is former Barcelona man himself, Thiago Alcantara.
The Blaugrana have reportedly opened talks with FC Bayern for the services of the Spanish International midfielder. Bayern however, have slapped a 90 million euro price tag for Thiago.
But is he really worth the outlet?
Thiago left Barca for a meagre amount of 21 million euros to reunite with his beloved manager Pep Guardiola, this time at the Allianz Arena. Since then, he has been a decent enough figure in Bayern’s midfield. Gotze’s lack of opportunity in Bayern was all due to Thiago’s capabilities coupled with Pep’s trust in the Spaniard. Thiago played a handful of games under Guardiola, in his three years in charge, but failed to make a real good impact, as he was often bogged down by the brilliance of other star players in the squad.
This season, however, Thiago has really evolved as a key influential player for Bayern and his rise under new boss Carlo Ancelotti is impeccable. Easily the best midfielder in the Bundesliga this season, the former Catalan midfielder has the most performance rating from Squawka.
One of his biggest factor of his success has been the different role he was given by the former Real Madrid boss this season. In a 4-3-3 formation, Thiago often starts as a central attacking midfielder but operates more as a transitional player for Bayern. His overall gameplay has increased a lot and he can track back to help improve the defence while his positional sense lends him the upper hand in midfield. Surprisingly, the Spanish International has made 99 interceptions this campaign! Which again demonstrates his positional sense in the middle of the park.
Under Pep, he was often given a defensive midfielder or a winger role, which resulted in some poor performances from the midfielder. That has been a thing of the past under new boss Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian coach was quick to identify the quality of the highly rated midfielder it seems. Offensively, Thiago has created 32 chances so far, more than any Bayern player, except for Thomas Muller.
It’s clearly evident that Thiago Alcantara has grown to be a complete midfielder this season at Bayern. He has attempted a whopping 80 tackles this season and has been involved in 63 headed duels. Not just in defence, Thiago also kept his natural ability of possession game intact! He is much more composed on the ball and presence of Arturo Vidal and Xabi Alonso makes the job easier for him to dominate the midfield. He averages 90% passing accuracy and also takes at least one shot per game.
Thiago has been influential for the entirety of the season and unlike in the previous seasons, the 25-year-old has performed against big teams as well. He was one of the best players in the UEFA Champions League knockout fixture against Arsenal a few weeks ago plus his performance against RB Leipzig, handed Bayern a comfortable 3:0 win.
In every sense, Thiago Alcantara is currently the best option Barcelona have in order to replace the legendary midfielder, Xavi Hernandez. And there’s no wonder that Bayern have put such a massive value for the Spaniard.
Anas Ali Molla
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