When Manchester United were reported to be interested in Barcelona youngster Thiago Alcantara to solve their central midfield problem last summer1, most football fans were shocked as the the Spaniard had always been on the fringes of the Barcelona first team since making his debut aged 18 in 2009.

However, new united manager David Moyes missed out on his man and ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola brought the 22 year-old to his new club Bayern Munich, despite already possessing a vast array of midfield options.

Thiago had always been seen as the long term replacement for legendary Barcelona midfielder Xavi but a lack of first team football left Thiago seeking a move away from his boyhood club.

After joining Barcelona's youth set up as a 14 year-old in 2005, he won four La Liga's, one Super Cup, one Spanish Super Cup and one Club World Cup, making over 100 appearances scoring 12 goals.

He joined European champions Bayern last summer for a fee of around £22m and has become a regular in a midfield that includes the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

So were Barcelona wrong to let Thiago leave?

You would have to answer this question with a simple yes.

Admittedly, he had wanted to leave the club but that was only because they rarely played him.

In Barcelona's defence, they do have Xavi, Andres Iniesta, CescFabregas, and Sergio Busquets all competing for Thiago's position, but at this current moment in time you could arguably say the starlet is on a par with at least two of these world class players.

His range of short and long passing is second to none but he can also bring the ball forward, track back, defend and even pop up with a goal now and then.

With Guardiola's side arguably the best team on the planet at the moment, you would forgive him for spending the majority of this season on the bench, but he is now a key player in a very strong Bayern side.

At this rate, he will be the best midfielder on the planet, providing he continues to work under Guardiola.

He has already got four caps for Spain as he is expected to be the future of their midfield with their usual passing football expected to continue for years to come.

At the moment, he is the captain of the Spain u-21 side that recently won the u-21 European Championships last summer.

In the final, they beat Italy 4-2 in the final as Thiago scored a first half hat-trick, proving his qualities in front of goal in the big games.

With Xavi ageing, Barcelona are going to struggle to find a replacement for one of their most reliant stars of the past 15 years.

Bayern Munich and Spain however, have got a real gem on their hands for at least another decade in the brilliant young midfielder.

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Topics:
Bayern Munich
Barcelona
Football