Liverpool tipped to sacrifice 'second best Premier League midfielder' this summer

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge thinks Thiago Alcantara could be on his way out of Anfield in the summer. The Spaniard, who was recently coined the ‘second best central midfielder in the Premier League’ by Arsenal icon Paul Merson, has missed 16 games this season through injury. And Aldridge believes it could cost him his place with the Reds for the upcoming campaign.

In his latest column for the Liverpool Echo, Aldridge wrote that Jurgen Klopp may consider offloading the 32-year-old in June for a ‘younger, fitter’ alternative. “He has only played roughly half of our games again and is getting older,” said Aldridge.

“Klopp could look to move him on to bring someone younger in and, given the way we work as a club, we have to bring money in somehow. As good as Thiago is, you need players who are fit all the time, young and get about the pitch. Curtis Jones and Trent could be about to save the club £100million this summer, but we still need top two midfielders.”

Liverpool are currently on the lookout for more firepower in the centre of the park and are leading the charge for Alexis Mac Allister’s signature. The Brighton star comes with a hefty £70m price tag so it is therefore imperative that the Reds make up the funds.

With wages of £200,000 per week, Thiago is the third highest-paid player at the club behind Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk. Moving him on would loosen Liverpool’s purse strings significantly especially if they intend to focus on recruiting in his position during the summer.

But the two-time Champions League winner has his admirers, such as Merson, who would no doubt advise against letting Thiago go. “Thiago Alcantara is an unbelievable footballer, he's a class act. When he doesn't play, Liverpool are a completely and utterly different team and we've seen that a handful of times already this season,” Merson told Sportskeeda at the start of the season.

“When he first joined, there was a lot of talk that he slowed Liverpool down a little, but after he adapted to the pace of the Premier League, there's been no stopping him!

“I just like the way he plays and moves - he's always looking forward and is more than comfortable with playing one-touch football when the situation calls for it. I like players who see things on the football pitch before they happen and he's one of them, which is why I'm such a big fan of him.

“People might be a bit surprised with Thiago's inclusion at No 2, but this is how I see the game and I genuinely believe that this guy is a special player. We're talking about a world-class player who makes such a huge difference to a team like Liverpool.

“We saw it first-hand against Ajax when he started the game and absolutely ran the show for his team. These lists are obviously very subjective and could change every week, but Thiago is a player I've always rated over the years.”

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