After he signed for Liverpool from Bayern Munich, the Liverpool Echo staff have simulated Thiago Alcantara’s arrival at Anfield on Football Manager for the upcoming season, with some impressive results.
The Spanish midfielder departed the incumbent European champions for the English champions for a surprisingly low £20 million, with a potential £5 million in add-ons.
And the staff at the Liverpool Echo used Football Manager 20 to see what we could expect to see from Thiago this season, by setting him up to sign for the side for the 2020/21 season.
Thiago's player attributes showcase a superb level of technical ability, such as his 19 first touch and 17 passing, alongside some substantial physical attributes.
The Spain international featured heavily throughout the season with 38 appearances, including 21 starts in the Premier League, frequently rotating with captain Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Naby Keita in the midfield.
More significantly, the only player in the team who created more chances than Thiago's 79 throughout the season was Sadio Mane, with 82. The former Barcelona man also scored four times, with eight assists.
Statistically, Thiago formed part of Liverpool's best midfield three alongside Wijnaldum, with defensive stalwart Fabinho just in front of the defence.
The season was a success as Liverpool retained their Premier League crown and triumphed over Arsenal in the FA Cup final, but did see defeat to Barcelona in the semi-final of the Champions League.
There are more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs registered on the Football Manager database. The game's scouting network, and the use of algorithms which consider outliers, make it an interesting point of prediction for the upcoming season.
Regardless, if Thiago has anywhere near the season he's predicted to, he will prove to be a shrewd signing on Merseyside - it's no mean feat to create more chances than Trent Alexander-Arnold or Mohamed Salah in this Liverpool side.
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