Venue – Stamford Bridge, Chelsea
Referee – Paul Tierney
Date & Time – Sunday, September 20th @ 16:30
Current Odds – Chelsea 21/10, Draw 13/5, Liverpool 6/5
Liverpool have won their last three Premier League meetings with Chelsea. Yet, this weekend’s game is likely to be one of the toughest tests Jürgen Klopp and his side have faced in recent seasons. Chelsea have delved deep into the transfer market this summer, adding quality in defence, midfield and attack. With that fresh impetus, however, comes pressure and Frank Lampard will be expected to achieve results this season with his team of stars. They’re still not Liverpool, though…FORM
Chelsea started their season off with an impressive 3-1 win at Brighton on Monday night. Goals from Jorginho, Reece James and Kurt Zouma gave them all three points at the Amex Stadium.
Kai Havertz and Timo Werner both made their debuts for The Blues and will be expected to start again on Sunday against the Premier League champions.
Liverpool got the win they needed against newly-promoted Leeds United last Saturday. Marcela Bielsa’s men gave the champions plenty of scares and played some fantastic football but they couldn’t live with the in-form Mohamed Salah on the day.
Sunday’s game is a huge one in terms of laying down an early marker for the season ahead and Liverpool will need to be at their absolute best against a new-look Chelsea side that could really click into gear this season.TEAM NEWS
Chelsea Team News
Frank Lampard is without Ben Chilwell, Billy Gilmour and Hakim Ziyech for Sunday’s fixture while Thiago Silva is also a major doubt. Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner are recovering from knocks but should be able to feature.
Lampard could opt for a midfield pairing of Mateo Kovačić and N’Golo Kanté with Reece James and Marcos Alonso playing as wing-backs.
Kai Havertz was played in a more advanced role than he’s used to against Brighton on the right-side of attack. He could start there again on Sunday with Timo Werner in the middle and Mason Mount cutting in from the left of the front three.
Liverpool Team News
First things first – Thiago Alcântara, who should have completed his signing before the end of this week – will not be registered in time to play any part at Chelsea.
Liverpool are without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who suffered a knee injury during pre-season. The attacking midfielder should be available for selection before the end of the month, however. He may even get some minutes in next Thursday’s EFL Cup tie at Lincoln City.
Kostas Tsimikas and Xherdan Shaqiri are both pushing for full fitness and will hope to be part of the matchday squad on Sunday.
I think Klopp will go with his favoured midfield from last season with Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum providing energy and stability.
Joe Gomez should keep his place alongside Virgil van Dijk in central defence despite a nervy start against Leeds for the young defender.
Mohamed Salah will hopefully be in red-hot form again after his opening day hat-trick last weekend. He will be in attack with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.PREDICTED LINEUPS
Chelsea XI (3-4-3) – Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rüdiger; James, Kanté, Kovacic, Alonso; Havertz, Werner, Mount
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, ManéWHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool won 5-3 in a pulsating encounter at Anfield back in July. It was the night The Reds were presented with the Premier League trophy. Goals from Naby Keïta, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gini Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Liverpool the win. Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic were Chelsea’s scorers on the night.
Last season at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool won 2-1 thanks to goals from Alexander-Arnold and Firmino while Kanté scored the hosts’ consolation strike.
Willian and Ross Barkley were the scorers back in March when Chelsea knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 home win.PREDICTION
CHELSEA 2 – 2 LIVERPOOL
This game could have it all, including plenty of action on the sidelines following Lampard’s behaviour at Anfield in July. The two sides will be playing very positive football with fantastic pace and individual talents on display. This means there’s likely to be plenty of goalmouth action and maybe plenty of goals. I think it’s going to be a tough game for The Reds and a score draw could be on the cards.
Liverpool U23s were unfortunate to suffer a 2-1 defeat away at Derby County on Friday evening.
Jake Cain opened the scoring for the young Reds with a terrific free-kick after 11 minutes of play at Loughborough University.
But Josh Shonibare levelled proceedings a short while later before a fortuitous goal from Jack Stretton just beyond the half-hour mark decided the outcome of the Premier League 2 fixture.
A strong start nearly saw the visitors go ahead after 45 seconds when Ben Woodburn poked just wide from Liam Millar's cross. But they wouldn't have to wait too long for the opener to arrive.
With Leighton Clarkson also hovering over the ball, Cain took responsibility from a free-kick in a central area.
The midfielder proceeded to fire in a whipped left-footed strike into the top corner, kissing the post en route to the back of the net.
That lead lasted just 12 minutes, however, when Shonibare curled an effort past Vitezslav Jaros from Derby's first attack in the contest.
The hosts' second arrived in fortunate circumstances after determined defending from Conor Bradley. The full-back's tackle to thwart Shonibare saw the ball inadvertently fall to Stretton, who applied a first-time finish.
Woodburn, captain for Barry Lewtas' charges for the evening, was then frustrated by the post to close out an entertaining first half.
Liverpool continued to apply plenty of pressure on the Derby backline in the second period, though it was ultimately to no avail.
Clarkson hit a powerful effort in the aftermath of a corner that was parried away by Derby stopper Emmanuel Idem. Then, substitutes Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Fidel O'Rourke squandered the Reds’ final opportunities to salvage something from the game.
Lewtas' youngsters will look to respond when they begin their EFL Trophy campaign away at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday evening.
Liverpool U23s: Jaros, Bradley (Sharif, 81), Clayton, Savage, Beck, Clarkson, Cain, Bearne (O’Rourke, 85), Woodburn, Longstaff (Dixon-Bonner, 73), Millar.
Unused substitute: Winterbottom.
Liverpool’s £25 million deal to sign Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich does not only add a world-class midfielder to the squad, but solves a host of other key issues too.
Thiago‘s arrival from Bayern comes after a summer of speculation, with the Reds taking their time in pursuit of the Spaniard as they assessed their financial situation.
With Jurgen Klopp a keen admirer of the 29-year-old, though, Liverpool pushed ahead of a with a move that sees Thiago arrive for an initial £20 million, with a further £5 million negotiated in add-ons.
It is a bargain deal for a player of Thiago‘s calibre, regardless of him being in the final year of his contract at Bayern and turning 30 in April.
This is even more so because it addresses a number of other issues within Klopp’s squad, and not just in the middle of the park.Gini, what now then?
In the weeks leading up to Liverpool’s eventual approach for Thiago, it was widely mooted that his arrival would be contingent on the departure of another senior midfielder.
The latest on Wijnaldum’s future is that the Dutchman now appears eager to stay on Merseyside following talks with Jurgen Klopp, but previous disagreements over the length and value of his next deal could put paid to that beyond 2021.
Effectively, signing Thiago solves the problem of replacing Wijnaldum before it arises; the Spaniard offers similar qualities to the No. 5, and then some, though claims he is a clear upgrade are disrespectful to one of Klopp’s lieutenants.
If Wijnaldum does leave in the next 12 months, the Reds already have his successor in their ranks, but on a more positive slant, the arrival of Thiago adds another top-level midfielder to the squad.
Thiago, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, James Milner and perhaps Marko Grujic—few sides will have that degree of strength and diversity in the middle of the park.
It could even be that Thiago turns out replacing Milner, whose deal expires in 2022, or Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose injury problems have persisted into the new campaign, but either way, it is a pragmatic and pre-emptive solution.Fab fourth?
In some quarters, Thiago was seen as a luxury signing for the Reds; less imperative than bringing in a new fourth-choice centre-back or added depth to the attacking line.
But Dejan Lovren‘s exit is, in fact, catered for with the arrival of the player who has taken his No. 6 shirt.
And while he is clearly at his best in the anchor role in midfield, signing Thiago allows Klopp to deploy Fabinho in emergency situations, when Matip and Joe Gomez are both out and neither Billy Koumetio nor Sepp van den Berg are trusted.
While not a bona fide defensive midfielder, Thiago‘s world-class ability can see him fill in at the base of the midfield, while both Wijnaldum and Henderson are available to step in for Fabinho if needed too.
Ultimately, it absolves the need to sign a new fourth-choice centre-back, which unless a Ragnar Klavan scenario presents itself is particularly difficult, as the player signed would need to be capable, but also content with much of a season spent on the fringes.
Liverpool could still bring in another centre-back, but the Thiago transfer certainly reduces the need to do so.Staying on top
On a more basic level, bringing Thiago to Liverpool addresses any concerns over complacency seeping into Klopp’s squad after winning the title.
The best Liverpool sides have always built from a position of strength—take Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness on the back of the club’s first-ever European Cup in 1977—and there were fears over whether the Reds could replicate their triumph without doing so.
Bringing in a new, elite-level midfielder can spur the squad on; Thiago is a winner, with seven Bundesliga titles, two La Liga titles and two Champions League wins to his name among many others, and his arrival will inspire his new team-mates.
Not only will it stir up competition in midfield, with the likes of Wijnaldum, Henderson and Keita not assured of their places, but it will reinvigorate those in defence and attack, too.
He will up the standard in training and in games, and will inject freshness into the dressing room, as regardless of how strong the bond is within any squad, it would be very rare for the same faces to not grow stale eventually.
In short, Thiago is a statement signing for Liverpool, the most high-profile player brought into the club in many, many years.
For £25 million, it was a deal too good for Klopp to turn down, as his new No. 6 solves a host of issues that could have arisen over the course of this season and beyond.
Liverpool are reportedly ‘closing in’ on a big-money deal to sign Wolves attacker Diogo Jota, with supporters left overjoyed after an unforgettable day in the transfer window.
The 23-year-old has been an influential figure for Wolves, forging a menacing striker partnership with Raul Jimenez and scoring 16 times last season.
It has been a day to treasure for anyone of a Liverpool persuasion, as they make huge progress in the summer transfer market.
Signing Jota would cap off a brilliant window for #LFC. Cover at left-back & the front-three absolute necessities, especially with gruelling fixture list alongside sparkle of Thiago. 16G & 6A’s last season, can play across front three, experienced & yet still young at 23.
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) September 18, 2020
Adding quality depth to the front three was an absolute necessity to address this window. Jota is ideal – can play wide left or through the middle, and at 23 has significant scope for further development. Helps with future AFCON issue as well. Makes so much sense.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) September 18, 2020
Thiago is better than any of our CM’s. Jota is better than any of our back up forwards.
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) September 18, 2020
“Love this player! Definitely a good choice to have” – Michael G Mbaya on Facebook.
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) September 18, 2020
jota got 6 goals in 8 games in the europa league last season
— Vik (@LFCVik2) September 18, 2020
Anyone else reckon someone told Michael Edwards we were still under lockdown and now they’ve just gone “do what you want lad”?
— Ross (@rossic89) September 18, 2020
“Him over Sarr all day long. This day rules. YNWA” – Nicholas Ryan on Facebook.
“FSG don’t spend enough” ? https://t.co/Dxqldopjvr
— LFC Raleigh ? (@LFCRaleigh) September 18, 2020
Jota a bit like Mane at Southampton. A player that stands out but you’d never say he’d be able to play at a level befitting of Real Madrid. Yet, he just makes perfect sense and Klopp will turn him into a world beater, as happened with Salah too.
— Chris Winterburn (@cmwinterburn) September 18, 2020
Jota makes it 10/10 man hes perfect for us. Pedro type player who gets you 10 goals minimum from wide with both feet
— Sean (@SeanDOlfc) September 18, 2020
“Great player and addition to the squad!” – Christian Hablch on Facebook.
— Grizz* (@GrizzKhan) September 18, 2020
Successful Dribbles p90
Jota – 2.6
Keita – 2.5
Mane – 2.3
Firmino – 1.6
Salah – 1.6
— Dinesh Kumar (@DHardayal) September 18, 2020
Me with all this LFC content… pic.twitter.com/siK1GSdbEq
— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) September 18, 2020
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Check in on Liverpool's preparations for their upcoming trip to Chelsea with our collection of photographs from Friday's training session.
Jürgen Klopp put his players through their paces at Melwood ahead of their first away fixture of the 2020-21 campaign.
Take a look at the Reds' latest workout in the gallery below as they look to make it two wins from two in the new campaign...
Photos by Andrew Powell
Liverpool are closing in on a deal for Wolves winger Diogo Jota, for a fee of more than £35 million.
On the same day that midfielder Thiago Alcantara was unveiled as the Reds’ new No.6, reports began over interest in Portuguese attacker Jota.
And within hours those have quickly escalated to a deal being close to agreed with Wolves for the 23-year-old.
Jota is expected to head to Merseyside, while teenage defender Ki-Jana Hoever goes the opposite way to the Midlands in a separate transfer for around £10 million.
The deal for the versatile attacker, who plays predominantly on the left of a front three but can also play as an attacking midfielder or as a forward, could even be completed this weekend.
Jota was not in the Wolves squad for their League Cup tie in the week, with manager Nuno Espirito Santo saying he was unavailable and that “these are decisions that we have to make.”
Several well sourced Merseyside journalists, including The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy and The Times‘ Paul Joyce have now reported the £35-million-plus fee for Jota.
Jurgen Klopp is said to be “an admirer of the versatility and work rate of the Portugal international.”
Jota, who has been at Wolves for three seasons, quickly became Liverpool’s priority after Watford‘s price tag for winger Ismalia Sarr became prohibitive.
He scored 16 goals and made six assists in 48 appearances last season, and made his debut for the Portugal national team last November.
Jota’s arrival would be Liverpool’s third of the summer, with a centre-back then the only potential incoming left for Klopp’s side.
Adding quality depth to Liverpool’s attacking options has been a priority in the eyes of most supporters this summer, especially with the condensed season ahead meaning more rotation will be required.
Attention will next turn to departures, with Hoever set to be followed by the exits of Harry Wilson, Rhian Brewster, Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Grujic – all of which are available for a permanent transfer at the right price.
Last Updated: 19/09/20 10:32amLiverpool are set to make Diogo Jota their third signing of the transfer window
Liverpool have agreed a £45m deal for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, with the 23-year-old set to head to Melwood on Saturday to undergo a medical before completing the deal.
The move comes just hours after the Premier League champions secured the signing of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in a deal that could be worth up to £25m.Save over 25% with NOW TV
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Jota's arrival at Anfield could be made easier by Liverpool defender Ki-Jana Hoever moving to Wolves in a deal worth £10m, plus add-ons.
Liverpool teenager Hoever, who has appeared four times for Jurgen Klopp's side, can play right wing-back, right-back and centre-back - all positions which Wolves are looking to strengthen during this transfer window.
The 18-year-old joined Liverpool from Ajax in 2018 and only signed a new long-term contract at Anfield last summer.
However, he is set to join Wolves on a permanent deal after terms were agreed between the two Premier League clubs.0:46 Sky Sports News' Vinny O'Connor has the details of the contract signed by Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara Sky Sports News' Vinny O'Connor has the details of the contract signed by Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara Summer transfer window - key dates and times
The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday October 5 with a feast of activity lined up on Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms.
A domestic-only window for deals between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on SSN and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.ONE MILLION POUNDS! Can you imagine?
You read correctly. Do not miss your chance to scoop £1m for free in this week's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday.
Thiago Alcantara joins Liverpool to embark on a new chapter of a career that has seen the midfielder reach the heights of the European and global game with previous clubs FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich.
Indeed, the Spain international has sealed his move to Merseyside just 26 days after hoisting aloft the Champions League trophy as an integral member of Bayern’s 2019-20 treble-winning squad.
Now, the 29-year-old will bring his blend of technique, athleticism and winning mentality to Anfield, where Thiago is set to wear the No.6 jersey.
Here, we take a look at Thiago’s football journey so far…
Born Thiago Alcantara do Nascimento in Italy on April 11, 1991, both of his parents are Brazilian and from a sporting background; his mother a professional volleyball player, his father the 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho.
Besotted by football from his earliest years, Thiago’s ties with Spain – the country he later opted to represent at international level – were forged by Mazinho’s transfers, including a four-year spell at Celta Vigo between 1996 and 2000.
Two separate stints in Flamengo’s youth ranks bookended experience with local Spanish teams for Thiago as the family criss-crossed from Brazil to Europe while he simultaneously developed his precocious talents on the pitch.
Foundations for his professional career were eventually laid at Barcelona and he joined the La Liga club’s fabled La Masia academy in 2005 before debuting for the first team under Pep Guardiola four years later, just weeks after his 18th birthday.
Thiago’s task was daunting for any emerging player: break into a masterful Barça side consistently playing some of the most attractive, fluid and successful football of the modern era.
But by 2010-11, he’d started to complete that objective.
The midfielder featured a dozen times as Guardiola’s team chalked up a third consecutive domestic title triumph, and once in the Champions League – as well as being an unused substitute in the final – when Barcelona lifted Old Big Ears for a second time in three seasons.
With his precision close control, invention, agility and natural ability to play a high-tempo game, Thiago was a stylistic match for the Barça philosophy installed by Guardiola.
And he steadily became a more regular presence in the side, clocking up 43 and 36 appearances in 2011-12 and 2012-13 respectively, helping them reclaim La Liga in the latter campaign.
Thiago had also been enhancing his reputation as part of Spain’s U21 team, playing a pivotal role as his country clinched back-to-back U21 European Championship honours in 2011 and 2013.
He netted a 40-yard free-kick in the 2011 final against Switzerland and, two years later, bagged a hat-trick when Italy were defeated 4-2 in the showpiece to confirm his status as UEFA’s Player of the Tournament.
Thiago was also on the move that summer.
Guardiola was now at the helm of Bayern and had made clear his desire to recruit his former player for the Bavarians, with a deal agreed and the switch completed in July 2013.
‘Trophy-laden’ does not quite do justice to Thiago’s time in Germany.
He collected a Bundesliga winner’s medal in each and every one of the seven seasons he spent with Bayern, lifted the German cup on four occasions, and added another FIFA Club World Cup – including a goal in the 2013 final – to the one previously won with Barcelona.
Those glories tasted all the sweeter after the midfielder – who has to date amassed 39 caps and scored two goals for Spain – recovered from multiple knee injuries that robbed a year of his career between March 2014 and April 2015.
And he signed off from Bayern in spectacular fashion last term with a treble of Bundesliga title, German cup and a comprehensive Champions League triumph.
Thiago and co beat Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate, thrashed his former side Barcelona 8-2, saw off Lyon 3-0 and then overcame Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the final to bring his former club level with his new one on six European Cups.
A metronomic figure in the middle of the park, the No.6 was widely praised for his influential performances and was later named in UEFA’s Champions League Squad of the Season.
He ended his time in Munich with a total of 235 appearances and 31 goals.
Thiago – who speaks fluent English – told The Telegraph last September: “I think every year I have got better and better and I’m reaching the best moment of my career. But I think I have a lot of years to make it even better.
“In the end it is about work. Work to be more intelligent, to think faster than your opponent and think faster than I thought last year.”
A long-time admirer of English football and, indeed, the Liverpool side being built by Jürgen Klopp at Anfield, now he’ll bring that mindset to the Reds having signed a long-term contract with the club.
Thiago Alcantara completed his move to Liverpool FC today and our photographer was on location to photograph the Spain midfielder as he sealed the deal at Anfield.
After seven years with FC Bayern Munich – a spell that concluded with a treble of Bundesliga, German cup and Champions League – the 29-year-old joins Jürgen Klopp’s Reds on a long-term contract.
On his first day with the club, Thiago was at his new home stadium to wrap up the transfer, explore his surroundings and sit down for an exclusive interview with Liverpoolfc.com.
Take a look in our gallery below…
Thiago Alcantara will wear the No.6 shirt for Liverpool.
The midfielder has opted to retain the same number with his new club that he wore during his distinguished seven-year spell at FC Bayern Munich, which concluded with Champions League glory last month.
Thiago takes the No.6 for the Reds shortly after it was vacated by Dejan Lovren, who wore it for six seasons before his permanent transfer to Zenit St. Petersburg.
Recent predecessors of the number at Liverpool include Luis Alberto, Fabio Aurelio, Markus Babbel and John Arne Riise.
Last Updated: 19/09/20 12:01am1:24 Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says the signing of Thiago was a 'win-win', with both the player and the club excited to team up with each other Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says the signing of Thiago was a 'win-win', with both the player and the club excited to team up with each other
Liverpool have signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in a deal that could rise to £25m.
Liverpool will pay £20m for the Spain international, with the potential for a further £5m in add-ons, and the midfielder will wear the No 6 jersey.
Thiago arrived in the UK on Friday morning, flying in to Manchester from Munich to complete a medical and finalise the deal.
The 29-year-old helped Bayern win the treble last season, as they beat Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final last month in Lisbon.
"I think it's an amazing feeling. I was waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very, very happy to be here," Thiago told Liverpool's official website.
"When the years are passing, you are trying to win as much as you can - and when you win, you want to win more. I think this club describes what I am as well; I want to achieve all of the goals, win as many trophies as possible.
"It also [has] this kind of family [feeling] that I need because we [like to] have a very close relationship with the club and I think I will feel this, I will have this feeling, with this club as well.0:46 Sky Sports News' Vinny O'Connor has the details of the contract signed by Thiago Sky Sports News' Vinny O'Connor has the details of the contract signed by Thiago
"I must adapt to the team as fast as I can in the situation and the context that we are living right now.
"Everything is more compact and we started a little bit later, but still it is football and I think we have to mix all the big things up, all the good things we have. I will help the team in a defensive and offensive [way] and also in a mental aspect.
"[The fans] are not more excited than I am - for sure not! It is not about saying words, it is about doing the things. I will give my heart on the field to my team-mates, the club and also to the fans."'Most difficult decision of my sports career'
When he left the Bundesliga club, Thiago took to social media to post a goodbye video which said: "I have made the most difficult decision of my sports career.
"I will close this chapter in this wonderful football club where I have grown as a player for seven years.
"Triumphs, joys and also hard times but what I am most proud of is that I arrived in Munich as a young man full of dreams and now I will leave completely fulfilled with the club, a history and a culture.
"Here I learned to love a tradition that I am now saying goodbye to but which I will never forget.
"My decision is purely a sporting nature as a soccer player, I want new challenges to develop myself further. Bavaria will always be my home, thank you FC Bayern."
Bayern boss Hansi Flick paid tribute to Thiago on Thursday, saying: "Thiago is an exceptional player who spent seven hugely successful years here.Thiago Alcantara with the Champions League trophy
"He's a wonderful person and an outstanding professional. It was very emotional today when he said goodbye to us all."
Thiago started his career at Barcelona and was handed his debut for the Catalan side by Pep Guardiola in 2009 at the age of 18.
He was an unused substitute as Barca beat Manchester United in the Champions League final the following season.
Thiago joined up with Guardiola again in 2013 when the then-Bayern boss took him to Bavaria. He went on to win seven Bundesliga titles and four DFB-Pokal cups.Analysis: Thiago signing shows how high Liverpool are regarded
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol told The Transfer Show:
"Liverpool signing Thiago shows how high Liverpool's standing is right now in world football because this is a player who is the best in the world at what he does. He's been at Bayern Munich for seven seasons, he's won a title every season, he's just won the Champions League and was one of the best players in the competition last season.Thiago will wear the No 6 jersey for Liverpool this season
"Bayern were aware his contract was running out next summer. They put a new contract in front of him, a four-year deal and they thought it was all agreed, he was going to sign on the dotted line but at the last minute, he had a change of heart and decided to leave this summer. Bayern decided to let him go and he wants a new challenge which is at Liverpool.
"From Liverpool's point of view, Bayern were initially asking for €30m and there was no way Liverpool were going to pay that. The way they have structured this deal is that they are paying £20m but over four seasons so £5m per year for Thiago. When you look at it like that, it is the best lease purchase deal I have ever seen to get a player that good for just £5m per year.
"That's why a lot of Liverpool fans on social media are saying their sporting director Michael Edwards is a genius."'Thiago deal a no-brainer for Liverpool'
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor:
"Liverpool's stance throughout the summer was that they would not be signing Thiago Alcantara - that changed a little a couple of weeks ago when the suggestion was they would only try to sign him if someone was leaving, but they did not believe that was going to happen.
"Now Liverpool have decided to go ahead regardless of that and they think Thiago is the man for them.1:39 Jurgen Klopp speaks exclusively to Sky Sports about Liverpool's 'toughest season' ahead and the transfer market Jurgen Klopp speaks exclusively to Sky Sports about Liverpool's 'toughest season' ahead and the transfer market
"Jurgen Klopp had also been consistent throughout the summer - Liverpool would not be doing business unless a really good opportunity presented itself and a deal was there to be done.
"This is a deal that Liverpool could not turn down.
"At 29, Thiago does not necessarily fit the FSG [Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners] model of buying players young, coaching them and increasing their ability and value, but the out-and-out quality of Thiago, combined with his experience of performing on the biggest stage, meant this particular move was a no-brainer.1:07 Speaking before the move was confirmed, Jamie Redknapp said Thiago will add a different dimension to Liverpool's midfield Speaking before the move was confirmed, Jamie Redknapp said Thiago will add a different dimension to Liverpool's midfield
"He is a player for the here and now, untested in the Premier League but someone who is used to performing on the biggest stage for Barcelona, Bayern and Spain.
"The signing should also help to solve an issue that Liverpool have recognised recently - Trent Alexander Arnold alluded to it in an interview a couple of weeks ago - the game plan needs to change.
"It has been in the back of Liverpool's minds to change the dynamic in midfield. It is not a case of things going stale but they are keen to give the opposition something else to think about now. Liverpool have been playing the same way for a couple of years and Thiago brings them something completely different.1:51 Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol said Liverpool's £25m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago is 'incredible business' Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol said Liverpool's £25m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago is 'incredible business'
"The signing of Bayern Munich's treble-winning midfielder renews that competition for places and says to the other players in that position they have to raise their game again.
"They have now decided to move from a position of strength to freshen things up and give other teams something new to think about."Analysis: How Thiago could transform Liverpool
Sky Sports' Adam Bate:
The commentator was just saying how comfortable Paris Saint-Germain were looking when it happened. "They are quite happy for Bayern to have the ball in their half," he said. But it was at that precise moment that Thiago Alcantara weaved his magic, firing a crisp pass between the lines.
The ball was in the back of the net seconds later. The goal was enough to win the 2020 Champions League for Bayern Munich and while scorer Kingsley Coman was the official man of the match, the role of Thiago in the team's triumph escaped no one.
At 29 and reluctant to sign a new contract, Bayern realised they might have to sell. Liverpool have pounced and it is easy to see why. Jurgen Klopp's side can do almost anything. But they cannot do what Thiago can do…
Sky Sports' Adam Smith:
His CV tells the story. At 29 years old, Thiago has racked up 11 league titles with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Since his league debut, he has only ever missed out on the domestic crown once - back in 2011/12.
If that was not enough, what else interested Jurgen Klopp? The reduced fee from his dwindling contract was undoubtedly attractive, but so too are his strengths - in particular, his ability to press opponents.False restart
Thiago played only 106 minutes in the Bundesliga after the restart due to a groin injury
Only Wolfsburg's Maximilian Arnold reclaimed possession in the middle third more than Thiago in the Bundesliga last season - and he played 1,055 minutes more than the Spain international.
Thiago also offers an improved dimension to Liverpool's existing midfield tranche: the ability to run with the ball. His frequency of completed dribbles is outstanding, given the fact he patrols central areas of the pitch.
In addition, the 29-year-old retains possession, despite his forward-thinking drive and above-average number of passes attempted - clocking a passing accuracy of 90.5 per cent, which ranks 21st in the league.
Thiago provides unrivalled pedigree, with 12 years' experience at powerhouse clubs and nine with Spain, while fitting the mould for a midfielder under Klopp.Summer transfer window - key dates and times
The summer transfer window will close at 11pm on October 5.
A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.ONE MILLION POUNDS! Can you imagine?
You read correctly. Do not miss your chance to scoop £1m for free in this week's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday.