Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique says ‘signing of the season’ Thiago Alcantara can have the same impact at Liverpool as Philippe Coutinho.

Thiago joined the Reds from Bayern Munich in the summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £25 million, and has already impressed under manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Spaniard has missed the last few Liverpool matches after testing positive for coronavirus last month, but he has since returned to training and could feature in this weekend’s Merseyside derby.

He has already shown his capabilities in the English top-flight, with his 45-minute cameo against Chelsea giving Reds fans a taste of what is to come.

The midfielder completed more passes than any of Frank Lampard’s men in the entire game, with his 75 successful attempts the most recorded by a player who played just 45 minutes. 

The 29-year-old has lived up to his reputation in his limited time on the pitch so far, and he has been backed by Enrique to produce similar displays to those of former Reds midfielder Coutinho.

“He’s a phenomenal player,” ex-Liverpool full-back Enrique told the Mail Online.

 

“He’s a top midfielder but he’s also a magician in the way that Philippe Coutinho was.

“I can see him alongside Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in midfield, and giving the team something they didn’t have before.

“And it says a lot about where the club is right now that someone who is an important player at Bayern Munich wants to come and play for Liverpool.”

Both Thiago and Sadio Mane have completed their self-isolation period after being diagnosed with Covid-19, with the pair missing out on the current international break for their respective countries.

Their return comes at a crucial time for Klopp’s side, who have five games in the space of 14 days, beginning with a trip to fierce rivals Everton on Saturday.

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