Liverpool great Souness backs Thiago to shine in England
Liverpool's new midfielder Thiago Alcantara's vision and passing range is reminiscent of Brazilian great Zico's in his prime and the 29-year-old ticks all the boxes to be a big success in the Premier League, former midfielder Graeme Souness said.
Thiago joined league champions Liverpool from Bundesliga and Champions League winners Bayern Munich this month and impressed in a 45-minute cameo during their win over Chelsea.
The Spain international is set to start Monday's match against Arsenal.
"I suspect that many current Premier League players may find Thiago as difficult to deal with (as Zico)," former Liverpool captain Souness wrote in his column for the Sunday Times.
"... I reckon Thiago should find British football a breeze because he's that good. Whenever you buy a player as a manager, you're trying to eliminate risk.
"Thiago ticks all the boxes - tremendous work rate, vastly experienced, he's a creator but doesn't shy away from the hard yards either."
Souness said that Thiago's addition has put Liverpool on a different level than Monday's opponents Arsenal, who finished eighth last season but have steadily improved under manager Mikel Arteta.
"If Thiago is a signing to top off a team that was already strong enough to retain the Premier League, then Arsenal are nowhere near challenging for it," Souness added.
"... The knockout tournaments are again their best chance of success this season. Trying to retain the FA Cup, a decent run in Europe and maybe the Carabao (League) Cup."