Paul Merson has named Liverpool star Thiago Alcantara the second best midfielder in the Premier League.
The pundit named his top five midfielders in his latest article on Sportskeeda.
Thiago has become absolutely essential for Liverpool, who now look almost lost without him.
His importance to the Reds was outlined in their last game, the 2-1 victory over Ajax in the Champions League.
The 31-year-old made his first start after a hamstring injury that kept him out for a month.
And Thiago played an important role as Liverpool made up for their loss at Napoli.
“Excellent return to action for the Spaniard,” the Liverpool Echo wrote at the time.
“Footwork, passing and drive supported the Reds’ show and maintained a good level regardless of their position.”
“I’m such a big fan of his”
Merson believes Thiago is a ‘world class’ player and second only to Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
“Thiago Alcantara is an incredible footballer, he is a class act,” he wrote.
“When he’s not playing, Liverpool is a completely different team and we’ve seen that a few times this season.
“When he first joined there was a lot of talk that he was slowing Liverpool down a bit, but once he adjusted to the pace of the Premier League there was no stopping it!
“I just love the way he plays and moves – he always looks ahead and is more than comfortable playing one-touch football when the situation calls for it.
“I like players who see things on the football pitch before they happen and he’s one of them, that’s why I’m such a big fan of his.
“People might be a little surprised with the inclusion of Thiago on #2, but this is how I see the game and I truly believe this man is a special player.
“We are talking about a world class player who makes such a huge difference to a team like Liverpool – we saw it first hand against Ajax when he started the match and absolutely led the show for his team.
“These lists are of course very subjective and can change every week, but Thiago is a player that I have always judged over the years.”
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