Thiago Alcantara is not the kind of player that Liverpool could have signed prior to Jurgen Klopp’s arrival at Anfield, says Neil Mellor, with the Reds now shopping in the market for “world-class” talent.
The last change in the dugout on Merseyside was made back in October 2015.
Brendan Rodgers had been ushered through the exits as major silverware remained elusive, paving the way for former Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp to be appointed.
A highly-rated German tactician has been given the time and funds required to get Liverpool back on top of domestic and continental games, with Champions League and Premier League crowns captured.
Considerable value has been found in the transfer market along the way, with Spain international playmaker Thiago among the latest to have been snapped up.
He was prised from Bayern Munich’s clutches on the back of a treble-winning 2019-20 campaign for the German giants, with that deal proving how attractive Liverpool have become.
Former Reds striker Mellor told Gentingbet, with an exciting new addition having made an eye-catching debut off the bench in a 2-0 victory over Chelsea: “Thiago is a super signing. It had been spoken about for a while and you wondered whether it would get over the line but where you have to give him and the manager credit is how he settled in so quickly.
“The manager made the decision that he should come on at half time and he had a big impact on the game. He was always available, he made the record for the most passes in Premier League football in one half - he was always available, whether on the right, left or in the middle of the park, he was always available for the pass.
“He gives them something different to what they have had in midfield previously. Whenever he got the ball, it was one or two touch, everything was done very quickly. He did really well, especially considering that was his first bit of football since the Champions League final.
“In terms of pushing Liverpool on to the next level, I’m not quite sure what the next level for the club would be! However, he is a world-class player who is around other world-class players. So, they will all thrive off each other.
“It adds competition for places in midfield and it allows Liverpool to freshen things up with the amount of games they will be playing.
“Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe but before Klopp came, they wouldn’t have been able to bring in players of this quality. That’s credit to the football that is being played but also the standard that Liverpool now have that a player like Thiago wants to come and play for them and I’m sure he will add quality over the season.”
Liverpool backed up their capture of Thiago with a £41 million ($52m) deal for Portuguese forward Diogo Jota, and Mellor admits there may be more arrivals to come as the Reds face calls to bring another commanding centre-half into their squad.
“While the transfer window is open, there will always be players linked to Liverpool,” Mellor added.
“You don’t know what is around the corner, there could be a possible injury where they then need to strengthen in that area.
“There have been conversations about Liverpool defensively, I thought Fabinho did brilliantly filling in at centre-half [against Chelsea] but Joe Gomez will be fit for the Arsenal game which will be a boost.
“So, with it being a short window until the transfer window opens again in January, I’m not too convinced there will be too much more activity but the Jota transfer came from nowhere, so if Liverpool find the right target, they will certainly look to bring them in.”