By this point, every Liverpool supporter has read every Thiago Alcantara-related tweet from every transfer ITK and watched every Thiago Alcantara YouTube compilation in anticipation of Michael Edwards coming through to sign Bayern Munich star.
It is well-known that Liverpool’s commitment to financial sustainability in a period of unprecedented uncertainty has placed constraints on the club’s willingness to sanction even relatively modest outlays. This has put a mooted €30m price tag Bayern have placed on the 29-year-old out of reach for Edwards, leaving the two clubs at an impasse.
However, getting a deal over the line would be massive statement of intent, says Sky Sports pundit, Gary Neville. As a player, he was a part of a Manchester United structure in which Sir Alex Ferguson regularly refreshed the squad makeup from a position of strength, preferring to get rid of a player too early rather than too late.
“It wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest there will be a slight drop-off, if they don’t somehow stimulate that squad by doing something,” Neville said of Liverpool’s lack of major transfers thus far.
“It is a huge emotional drain on the group of players for three years.
“To ask them to go again and achieve that same standard would be a superhuman effort, getting them to do the same thing without amendment to the squad to give them that lift again.
Liverpool’s rivals have chosen to ignore the financial risks of spending in a pandemic, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City making splashy moves. Of course, Liverpool only just got done winning the Premier League title by a ridiculous 18 points in capping off a trophy-laden two-year period of success and still possess the strength to repeat the feat again this season. However, Neville argues that signing a star like the ex-Barcelona man is just as important for the resolve of the squad as it is for the performances on the pitch.
“That is where signing Thiago would give the big one to Liverpool—to send a message to the rest of the players that we’ve signed one of the best players in the world in that position.”
“He is world class and that would give them a world-class presence in an area of the field where they don’t have a world-class presence,” he added.
“They need that impetus to stay where they are.
“I could be wrong—they could deliver exactly what they did before—but looking at history it doesn’t work like that usually.”