Liverpool: Didi Hamann calls Thiago Alcantara “one of the most overrated players” in Europe

Former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann has claimed Thiago Alcantara is “overrated” as he urged the Reds to modernize their side.

Liverpool saw their treble dreams crumble as they lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday, forcing them to settle for a double domestic cup win after also missing out on the Premier League had.

Thiago has played a key role in the Reds’ run to three finals this season and, despite being doubtful through injury at the showdown in Paris, managed 77 minutes for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann (pictured) has claimed Thiago Alcantara is 'overrated'.

Thiago played a key role in the Reds' run to three finals this season

Ex-Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann (left) has claimed Thiago Alcantara is ‘overrated’ (right)

The Reds signed Thiago from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2020 for an initial fee of £20m – plus £5m for potential add-ons – and he has made 69 appearances for the club en route to winning two major trophies .

But the former Red Hamann claimed he doesn’t understand the hype surrounding the Spaniard.

“In my opinion, the Reds need to modernize the team, especially in midfield,” said Hamann in his column for Sky Sport Germany.

The Spaniard has made 69 appearances for the club on his way to winning two major trophies

The Spaniard has made 69 appearances for the club on his way to winning two major trophies

“I don’t understand the hype surrounding Thiago. For me he is one of the most overrated players in European football.

“When things are going well and you have a lot of possession he’s a good player but when push comes to shove you don’t see him.

“If you need someone to set accents, they don’t do it.

‘(Naby) Keita is also a disappointment, [Jordan] Henderson is a laborer. They need a player who can make the difference and give the team that extra something.”

Hamann also criticized Naby Keita (centre) when he called him a

Hamann also criticized Naby Keita (centre) when he called him a “disappointment”.

The German has previously criticized Thiago, claiming on social media that the midfielder has made the Reds worse over the past year.

Midway through the 2020/21 season, Hamann tweeted: “Liverpool have had a lot of possession for quite some time and always found a way to break up the defence.

“The dynamic of the team will change with Thiago in the team. I don’t think for the better.

“He’s at his best when the team has long periods of possession, everything Liverpool have been in recent years isn’t.”

He later justified his tweets on talkSPORT in January 2021 when he urged caution over whether Thiago would be able to turn Liverpool’s fortunes amid their injury-plagued campaign.

“He slows things down and doesn’t really play the way Liverpool play,” he said.

The German has previously criticized Thiagi and blasted the midfielder on Twitter last year

The German has previously criticized Thiagi and blasted the midfielder on Twitter last year

“Liverpool have had hard-working midfielders in the past, they weren’t as skilled as Thiago but they got the ball early on for Mane and Salah.

“When you get the ball early on the wing and these guys can run at players, they are very difficult to stop.

“I just feel for Thiago, everyone has been raving about him coming to Liverpool, he’s barely played. He came on as a substitute against Chelsea and had the most passes in the second half against a Chelsea side reduced to 10 men.

“He came on against Newcastle in the last 25 minutes, Newcastle was dead on his feet, everyone was raving about how good he is.

Hamann accused Thiago of slowing down Liverpool and changing their momentum last season

Hamann accused Thiago of slowing down Liverpool and changing their momentum last season

“I can tell you he’s a good player, a skilled player. But there was never a time in Munich when people said: “Oh, he’s first on the team sheet”. So I would be very careful with Thiago.

“And the other thing is, as other people have suggested, he plays a different style of football. He likes to be owned.

“Liverpool have always been good when they weren’t in possession, winning and going forward quickly.

“He’s not that kind of player so it will be very interesting if he plays more now how it will change the dynamic of the team.”

Jurgen Klopp (left) defended his player and claimed the only problem was Thiago's injuries last season

Jurgen Klopp (left) defended his player and claimed the only problem was Thiago’s injuries last season

However, Thiago has proved his critics wrong with his impressive performances this season and manager Klopp was quick to defend his player earlier this season.

“People have asked if he fits our football? Thank God these people don’t make decisions,” said Klopp.

“Of course, if a player calms down a game in a few moments for many reasons – one of them is just to take a look or whatever – we didn’t think anything (was wrong).

“It’s more important that Thiago wanted to join us and he knew how we play. He is a real football person and thinks a lot about football. He knew how we played and he knew he would pass and so did we.”

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