Michael Owen reveals his excitement at seeing ‘proper baller’ Thiago Alcantara return from injury during Liverpool’s draw at Newcastle… while Jurgen Klopp admits his delight at seeing the Spaniard make a comeback
- Thiago Alcantara made his return from injury for Liverpool on Wednesday night
- The Spaniard played the final 17 minutes of the Reds’ 0-0 draw at Newcastle
- Michael Owen praised the midfielder for being a one of a kind talent
- Jurgen Klopp revealed his delight at seeing the 29-year-old return from injury
Michael Owen praised Thiago Alcantara for his unique style of play after the Liverpool midfielder made his return from injury in the Reds’ 0-0 draw at Newcastle.
The Spanish midfielder has been out since the middle of October with an ankle injury but made a comeback for the final 17 minutes of Liverpool’s goalless stalemate at St James’ Park.
Former Reds striker Owen claims Thiago is very different to any other midfielder in England’s top-flight as the 29-year-old looks to help Jurgen Klopp’s side defend their domestic league title.
Michael Owen praised Thiago Alcantara (above) as the Liverpool man returned from injury
Owen called the Spaniard ‘a proper baller’ after just three league appearances for Liverpool
Owen tweeted on Wednesday night: ‘We’ve only been treated to snippets of play so far but I genuinely get excited when @Thiago6 steps onto the pitch.
‘He’s so different to anything in the @premierleague. A proper baller.’
Thiago’s absence has been a big miss for Liverpool in their title defence as Klopp’s side have also had to deal with the inconsistent fitness levels of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield, while Fabinho has also had to move to centre-back.
Thiago made the £20million switch from Bayern Munich earlier this summer but the cameo appearance at Newcastle on Wednesday was only his third Premier League appearance of the season.
Owen (above) wants to see more of Thiago during 2021 after an injury-hit start to the season
Thiago returned as a substitute in the latter stages of Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle
Liverpool managed to stay unbeaten in the league while Thiago was on the treatment table but that run has included four draws to Manchester City, Brighton, Fulham and West Brom.
Reds manager Klopp revealed it was pleasing to see Thiago back in the matchday squad but took time to praise the other midfielders who have stepped up in the Spaniard’s absence.
The German told his post-match press conference: ‘We signed Thiago because we thought he was a good player. You can imagine we would like to have him in the team, that is clear.
‘What the other boys did in the time he was not available is absolutely incredible. James Milner, for example, tonight played a super game in midfield, really.
Thiago (above) has been out since the middle of October with a long-term ankle problem
‘It’s good. Thiago is a super player. For the 20 minutes, 12 were brilliant and then he felt the intensity.
‘That’s normal as he trained exactly twice with the team. He still has some physical work to do, still some rhythm to get.’
Liverpool were held by Steve Bruce’s Newcastle on Wednesday which extended the Reds’ lead at the top to six points.
Jurgen Klopp (above) revealed his joy at seeing Thiago return as he looks to defend the title
However, Manchester United have a game in hand over Klopp’s side with the two sides meeting in the middle of January.
Before that, Klopp’s Liverpool travel to Southampton on Monday before taking on Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round.
The Premier League champions were thrashed 7-2 by Dean Smith’s side on their last visit to Villa Park.