Thiago will be making a mistake in choosing Bayern Munich over Manchester United.
The youngster is reportedly on the brink of signing for treble winners Bayern at the expense of United and this may prove to be a big gamble both for the player and the man who openly declared his interest in a press conference earlier this week.
Pep Guardiola stunned the German press by revealing that the 22-year-old under-21 champion was his and Bayern’s top summer transfer target. Pep stated that as much as Mario Gotze was a brilliant player, Thiago is a top, top player and remains his ultimate target for the summer and that it was him or no one. He could not have been much more clear and direct. The eagle had landed.
On the face of it, a potential move for the Spain international makes sense. The 22-year-old played under Pep for a total of five years for both the Blaugrana's reserves and their full team and is well-versed in the slick passing style which saw them dominate European football for years.
However, Bayern already have the best and most balanced midfield in European football. Their combination of athleticism, power, strength and class is unrivalled.
Last season, Javi Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger and the mercurial Toni Kroos became the new holy grail of midfield trios, usurping Barcelona’s plethora of Busquets, Iniesta and Xavi, testament to just how brilliant they were. Martinez brought stability and strength, Kross precision and class and Schweinsteiger had his best ever season at the club.
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
Thiago is a wonderful talent, precarious, but wonderful. His potential was showcased at the recently concluded Under 21 championships where he led La Rojita to victory from midfield in a display of calm, control, leadership and direction.
He was their Xavi and capped a brilliant run in the tournament by saving the best for last and scoring three times in the final. That being said, adding him to a midfield already bulging with depth and brilliance (after the addition of Gotze) would be superfluous to say the least.
The open admission and declaration of interest in Thiago by Pep Guardiola must have sent a damning message to Kroos and especially Mario Gotze. It was almost a dismissal of the most expensive German player of all time. Pep did not seem to endorse the 21 year old at all.
The addition of Thiago would in many ways upset the balance and environment prevailing in Die Roten’s midfield. Kroos had established himself in the hole behind the main striker, Gotze prefers playing in that position as much as he can fit anywhere across the front three and the double-pivot of Martinez and Schweinsteiger was as close to perfect as it comes. Just where would Thiago fit is another big question.
Players such as Gustavo, as unspectacular as he is, proved to be an aptly able back-up over the course of the season and Xherdan Shaqiri will probably be feeling deflated after aiming to establish himself in the team. These players will feel threatened and more uncertain of their positions more than ever before now.
Thiago wants to leave Barca in order to gain regular football in a bid to force himself into the Spainn first team for the world cup next year. At Manchester United, he would have been guaranteed a spot since United desperately lack a central midfielder who can keep the ball well and recycle it.
Thiago would have been a seamless slot into that role and that is precisely why Moyes is so eager to bring him to Old Trafford. At Bayern however, this is far from guaranteed. Schweinsteiger is a club icon, Javi Martinez is his perfect foil, Toni Kroos is a crowd favourite and Mario Gotze cost £37 million - not easy to drop any of them without facing a backlash of some sort.
At his official unveiling as Bayern coach at the end of June, Guardiola pledged to adapt to the side, rather than making Bayern adapt to him. However, in his brash bid to land Thiago, he looks set to take a colossal risk which could upset the balance at his new club.
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