Thursday, January 27, 2022

Barcelona Mulling Over A Shock Move For Liverpool Target: Is He A Better Option Than Wijnaldum?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are considering making a move for Thiago Alcantara. The Bayern Munich midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, but his former club Barca are having an internal debate on whether or not to join the race. Manager Ronald Koeman, however, does prefer to Georginio Wijnaldum as he has worked together with him for the Dutch national team.

In this article, we will discuss why Thiago could be a better option than Wijnaldum for Barcelona this summer.

La Masia Product

Prior to his breakthrough in professional football, Thiago had joined FC Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy way back in 2006. He rose through the ranks in the youth competitions before earning a promotion to the senior side in 2011. He played for Barcelona for two years before joining Bayern Munich, to reunite with Pep Guardiola.

So essentially, Thiago is quite familiar with Barcelona’s tactical philosophy and the club’s identity as a whole. It could provide him with a massive advantage over Wijnaldum as the Spaniard is more likely to settle in quickly, having previously featured in 68 La Liga matches.

More Versatile And Technical Operator

While there is no doubt Wijnaldum could bring the energy and work-rate to the table for Barcelona, it is Thiago who is much more versatile and tactical.

Barcelona are considering making a move for Thiago Alcantara - Back to Barca?
BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 19: Thiago Alcántara of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on January 19, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Over the years, the 29-year-old has steadily evolved himself into a reliable defensive midfielder. Thiago’s ability to read the game, along with his accurate tackling makes him a useful operator in the second line of press.

Besides, the Bayern Munich star can also be deployed anywhere across the middle of the park, thus opening up a host of tactical possibilities for Koeman next season. Not to mention, Thiago is a tactically astute midfielder as well, having worked with top coaches like Guardiola, Hansi Flick, Carlo Ancelotti as well as Niko Kovac.

A Serial Winner

Barring the past couple of years, Wijnaldum has had a difficult footballing career, as far as winning silverware is concerned. Thiago, in contrast, is one of the most successful midfielders in Europe right now, having won seven Bundesliga titles as well as two UEFA Champions League.

A key component in Bayern Munich’s sheer dominance in the Bundesliga, Thiago’s pedigree at the highest of level completely outshines that of his Dutch counterpart. Such experience and winning mentality could be useful for Barcelona as they look to restore the club’s glory under Ronald Koeman next season.

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