'Thiago doesn't play the Liverpool way' - Hamann advises Klopp to be 'very cautious' with £20m midfielder

Thiago Alcantara Liverpool 2020-21Getty Images

Thiago Alcantara doesn't play the Liverpool way, according to Dietmar Hamann, who has advised Jurgen Klopp to be "very cautious" with the £20 million ($27m) midfielder.

Liverpool snapped up Thiago on a four-year contract from Bayern Munich in September, in a deal which was seen as a major coup for the newly-crowned Premier League champions.

The two-time Champions League winner played a key role in Bayern's run to the treble last season, but chose to take up a new challenge at Anfield instead of signing an extension at Allianz Arena.

However, the 29-year-old's first few months on Merseyside haven't gone as smoothly as he would have hoped, with a bout of coronavirus and a serious knee injury limiting his contribution.

Thiago finally managed to return to fitness at the end of December, and has started Liverpool's last two Premier League matches, including a 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Sunday.

Despite the former Bayern star showing flashes of his quality in that game, Hamann does not think the Spaniard's style suits Klopp's current set-up and is concerned that the German head coach will have to alter a winning formula to accommodate him.

"He slows things down and doesn't really play the way Liverpool play," The ex-Liverpool midfielder told talkSPORT.

"Liverpool in the past have had hard-working midfielders, they were not as skilful as Thiago, but they gave the ball to [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah early. 

"If you get the ball early on the wing, and these guys can run at players they are very hard to stop.

"I just feel with Thiago, everyone was raving about him coming to Liverpool, he's hardly played. He came on against Chelsea and had the most passes in the second half, against a Chelsea team that was down to 10 men.

"He came on against Newcastle in the last 25 minutes, Newcastle were dead on their feet, everyone was raving about how good he is.

"I can tell you, he's a good player, a skilful player. But there was never a time in Munich where people said, 'oh he's the first on the teamsheet'. So I'd be very cautious when it comes to Thiago.

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"And the other thing is, as other people alluded to earlier, he plays a different style of football. He likes to be in possession. 

"Liverpool were always good when they weren't in possession, won it and played quickly forward. 

"He's not that type of player, so it will be very interesting when he does play more often now how it's going to change the dynamics of the team."