Liverpool-linked Thiago wouldn't have a problem adapting to the Premier League, says Mertesacker

Thiago Bayern Munich Liverpool 2019-20
The 29-year-old has turned down a new deal at the Allianz Arena as he gets set to move on in the off-season, with the English champions linked

Former Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has tipped Thiago Alcantara to adapt well to the Premier League but has cautioned that the Bayern Munich star would have work to do to become a starter at Liverpool.

The 29-year-old has turned down the opportunity to extend his stay at Bayern as his contract enters its final year. 

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said that the club are willing to sell Thiago for a "fair transfer fee" as the midfielder continues to be linked with a move to Anfield.

Mertesacker, who featured for Hannover and Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga as well as Arsenal in the Premier League during his playing career, believes Thiago would do well with the English playing style but warned that the Spain international may not be able to instantly walk into Jurgen Klopp's team.

"I can already imagine the transfer, but the midfield axis of Liverpool is set up," Mertesacker told Goal and SPOX.  "Getting in there is very ambitious, but he's a top footballer who can play anywhere.

"He wouldn't have any problems with the style of play in England either because he's a footballer who has been coached well.

"He has to adapt and sometimes do a 40-metre sprint to hit a central defender, but he can. He has to decide for himself, as it may well be that he won't play a major role in the first games in Liverpool. There are still a few players ahead of him because of their achievements over the past two years."

Prior to any move away, however, Thiago and his team-mates still have the matter of this season's Champions League to occupy them.

Bayern will take on surprise package Lyon in Wednesday's semi-final and would face PSG in the final should they advance. 

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Following an incredible 8-2 demolition of Barcelona in the quarter-finals, Mertesacker expects a different kind of match against the Ligue 1 upstarts. 

"It's going to be a different game," Mertesacker said. "Bayern have to be a little more patient.

"You have to move Lyon in their compactness, switch sides and get the fast wingers in two-on-one situations. In the middle, Lyon will make it very compact."