January 14, 2021

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Jurgen Klopp must play Liverpool star ‘every week’, says Paul Merson


The midfielder has impressed upon his return from injury (Picture: Getty Images)

Paul Merson says the incisive passing and vision of Thiago should see him start every game for Liverpool in order for Jurgen Klopp’s side to break down tough defences.

The typically free-flowing Reds are without a win in their last three games and have scored just one league goal since their 7-0 destruction of Crystal Palace last month.

Liverpool have allowed Manchester United to knock them off top spot ahead of Sunday’s crunch meeting between the two rivals at Anfield.

Klopp has eased Thiago back in slowly (Picture: Getty Images)

Klopp has been given a boost with summer signing Thiago’s recent return from injury after a two-month layoff.

The 29-year-old was understandably rusty as he completed 90 minutes in the 1-0 loss to Southampton, but dazzled in a 45-minute cameo in last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Aston Villa’s youngsters.

Thiago has barely featured for the Reds since his summer move from Bayern Munich, but Merson believes he will be key for Klopp’s side as they attempt to retain their Premier League crown this season.

The Arsenal legend told Sky Sports: ‘I feel teams are approaching Liverpool now, not giving them any space, and saying: ‘You’ll have to break us down.’

‘Liverpool are struggling without that guile in midfield. They’ll need Thiago to play every week. He’s the one who sees that pass.

‘I think Jurgen Klopp knows this now, because he’s even bringing Xherdan Shaqiri in, someone who you’d have previously thought might not play another minute for Liverpool. But he can put the ball through the eye of a needle.

‘Without that, it takes the Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino X-factor out of the game. Liverpool are still the best in the world without the ball, but when there’s no space there, it gets taken away.

‘Thiago must play every week. He can see that pass, and we’ve seen evidence of that in a couple of games. It might not always come off, but he sees it.

‘What team in the world aren’t going to miss Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in midfield? It’s hard when you’re taking those players out of the midfield.

‘Liverpool’s midfield have always made everything happen – they are the unsung heroes. Without them, I don’t think anything happens at Liverpool.

‘They protect the back four, they let the full-backs bomb on, and they let the front three do what they want.’


MORE : Steven Gerrard responds to Thiago over dream Liverpool midfield claim


MORE : Phil Foden sends warning to Manchester United and Liverpool after Manchester City’s victory over Brighton

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Mohamed Mohamoud

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