Liverpool will have a simple decision to make when it comes to trimming their squad in the summer as they prepare for life without Jurgen Klopp. The German manager will leave Anfield at the end of the season, meaning a new face will be in the dugout later this year with Xabi Alonso and Roberto De Zerbi among the early favourites.
Whoever is appointed to replace Klopp at Liverpool will need to get things right in the summer window, with the Reds still very much in a rebuilding phase following a number of high-profile exits last year. One of the first tasks facing their new manager will be to trim the deadwood from their squad, which could see Thiago Alcantara given the boot after four years on Merseyside.
Thiago arrived at Liverpool to plenty of fanfare in 2020 after establishing himself as one of the world’s best midfielders at Bayern Munich. His time in England has not gone anywhere near as well as he would have hoped, though, with a string of long-term injuries putting his career at a standstill.
The Spaniard has only made 98 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions since joining the club, averaging just over 24 games per season. He made his return from a 10-month layoff against Arsenal last weekend, but picked up yet another injury despite only coming on for the last five minutes.
It remains to be seen if Thiago will be ruled out for any length of time following his latest injury setback, with Klopp set to provide more details in Friday’s press conference. However, it seems clear that a summer exit would be the right outcome for all parties, given that Thiago’s contract is set to expire at the end of the campaign.
The midfielder is believed to be among Liverpool’s highest earners, having signed a four-year deal worth a reported £200,000 per week upon his arrival in 2020. His departure would allow the Reds to invest that money elsewhere, rather than wasting it on a player who is injured more often than not.
Thiago’s age will also be a key factor in deciding his Liverpool future in advance of next season. He will celebrate his 33rd birthday in April and the Reds are usually reluctant to hand long-term contracts to players over 30, with Thiago’s inability to stay fit making the prospect of a new deal even more unlikely.
Liverpool have been getting on just fine in Thiago’s absence, with the Merseyside giants still in with a chance of winning the Premier League, Europa League and both domestic cups this season. It seems almost certain that he will be allowed to leave on a free transfer in the summer, with the decision set to be a no-brainer for whoever succeeds Klopp in the dugout.
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