There seems to be little doubt in the minds of ardent Manchester United fans and the media that Thiago Alcantara will be arriving at the hallowed ground of Old Trafford very soon. 

Some have been left drooling as they watch video after video of his incredible dribbling skills and his keen eye for a defence-splitting pass.

However, although his skills have kept us rightly entertained, not enough time has been spent contemplating how exactly he would fit into the star-studded squad and which players could potentially find themselves at the exit door. Let's take a look at where he could play:

Centre-attacking midfield:

The playmaker role is very clearly Thiago's preferred position and is the position in which he thrived at Barcelona. 

Placing him next to a capable defensive shield such as Michael Carrick would give him the ability to cause absolute havoc against opposing teams, as Shinji Kagawa did against Norwich last year. 

For a midfielder, Thiago gets a fair amount of goals -allowing him to continue in this position would take some of the goalscoring burden off of Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.

Now, if Thiago did occupy this position, then Kagawa would most likely be shunted onto his left wing: a position that he himself has stated that he doesn't excel in. 

Furthermore, utilising him in this position would see Carrick forced to operate as a shield rather than a fulcrum of the team. 

Centre-defensive midfield:

It is less likely that David Moyes will shunt Thiago into a defensive midfield position knowing his strengths. 

That said, limited space across the field might see Thiago filling the position that United most need strengthening in. 

Thiago has a fantastic passing range and an incredible work ethic - two traits that would help him succeed in this position. 

However, he would not be as effective as he could play further up the field. 

United made the mistake with another incredible talent - Anderson - of dumping him in a defensive role and not playing to his strengths. 

If Thiago were to occupy this position, there is little doubt that Anderson will be sold. Furthermore, the chances of Darren Fletcher making a full comeback seems to be decreasing. The good news is that Wayne Rooney will probably stay in his preferred position.

Centre-forward:

While he hasn't played in this position in his time at Barcelona, Thiago could excel in the "Messi" position. 

Playing right behind Van Persie, Thiago's eye for a killer pass and quick feet could see him create a lot of scoring opportunities. 

Van Persie's incredible positional sense and movement would open up a lot of space for Thiago to operate. Thiago could utilise his incredible dribbling skills to bamboozle defenders as his counterpart in Barcelona does on the daily basis. 

Furthermore, his presence would push Kagawa further back in midfield alongside Carrick, not taking advantage of Kagawa's precocious talent. 

To conclude, although it is hard to see where Thiago would fit in the team, it would be crazy for Moyes to pass up the opportunity to sign somebody of Thiago's talent. 

He is a reasonably versatile player and may be asked to fill a variety of positions in the Manchester United squad. 

At the moment, he's only 22 and clearly has room to grow and improve but he looks a very exciting prospect. 

However, if he were to arrive, at least one current player would be forced to depart. 

 

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Manchester United
#Football