6 Cheaper and Younger Alternatives to Thiago Alcantara That Liverpool Could Target

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara / DeFodi Images/Getty Images
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It's the transfer rumour that doesn't seem to make that much sense and yet it still refuses to go away.

Thiago Alcantara could be leaving Bayern Munich in the summer, that much is clear. What remains to be seen though is whether Liverpool will really sanction a move for the 29-year-old Spaniard when everything suggests that the Reds are set to avoid any significant outlays in the summer.

The financial constraints placed on the Premier League champions by the COVID-19 crisis make a move for Thiago unlikely, and Jurgen Klopp may need to recalibrate his search for a new midfielder along cheaper and younger lines.

If Liverpool are keen to pursue this, here are some of the best options that could be available in the current market...


John McGinn

Aston Villa are deep in relegation trouble and John McGinn could be available in the summer
Aston Villa are deep in relegation trouble and John McGinn could be available in the summer / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Although the mesmerising Jack Grealish has stolen most of the headlines at Aston Villa this season (both good and bad), John McGinn's seamless transition into a Premier League player has been similarly impressive.

The Scotsman started the campaign in fantastic form as part of Villa's midfield three, playing a role not too dissimilar to what may be expected of him at Anfield.

McGinn is an excellent long passer and has good vision. He would relish the opportunity to pick out the arcing runs of Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah with balls over top and as an accomplished dribbler, he is also capable of progressing the ball through midfield quickly in transition.

With Villa deep in relegation trouble, there's a real chance of him being available for a bargain fee in the summer - even with four years left on his current deal.


Aleksandr Golovin

Aleksandr Golovin should be on Liverpool's radar
Aleksandr Golovin should be on Liverpool's radar / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Monaco were among a host of French clubs that were left spitting when the Ligue 1 season was curtailed ten games early back in May.

Robert Moreno's side were a handful of points away from the Europa League spots, and Champions League qualification wasn't completely out the realms of possibility either.

Not only will the lack of European football have financial impacts it may also make it harder for Moreno to keep his star midfielder Aleksandr Golovin. The Russian has been ever present in the side this season, registering three goals and four assists for Les Monégasques.

Previously linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, the Ligue 1 side's lack of European football could put him on Liverpool's radar and he fits the bill as an affordable, energetic playmaker.


Otávio

Otávio is skilled in the art of pressing, suiting him well to Liverpool's style
Otávio is skilled in the art of pressing, suiting him well to Liverpool's style / NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images

Admittedly Otávio is not a playmaker in the same mould as Thiago but the Bordeaux midfielder is a pressing machine, racking up some of most impressive pressure stats in Europe this season.

He has averaged just over nine successful pressures per 90 this season and specifically excelled when pressing in the middle third of the pitch.

Often deployed as a screening midfielder under Paulo Sousa, he also has extensive experience operating in a more advanced role, racking up five goal involvements this season.

Otávio has only two years left to run on his deal and with Bordeaux absent from next season's continental competitions he could surely be tempted away from the club.


Morgan Sanson

Morgan Sanson has been at Marseille since 2017
Morgan Sanson has been at Marseille since 2017 / Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Morgan Sanson has flourished under the tutelage of acclaimed Dakar rally driver Andre Villas-Boas this season.

His five goals and five assists don't tell the story however, as Sanson has also contributed to his side's defensive efforts. He has racked up over eight successful pressures per 90 minutes and even registered just shy of two blocks per game.

Sanson has been linked with a host of Premier league clubs in recent times including West Ham and Wolves but he statistical output this season suggests he may even be good enough for the champions.


Rodrigo de Paul

De Paul has not long signed a contract extension at Udinese but could still be tempted away
De Paul has not long signed a contract extension at Udinese but could still be tempted away / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

It's been another underwhelming season for Udinese and with the spectre of relegation still looming, it might get even worse.

One bright spark has been the performances of Rodrigo de Paul who has been directly involved in over a third of his side's goals.

The Argentine seems to fit Liverpool's tactical blueprint well. A high octane midfielder who would add some creativity to the Reds ranks he also has experienced of playing as a second striker.

Perhaps then, De Paul represents not only an exciting cut-price midfielder, but also a rotational option for talismanic false nine Roberto Firmino.


Marcel Sabitzer

Sabitzer could be tempted to try his luck in the Premier League next season
Sabitzer could be tempted to try his luck in the Premier League next season / Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Is it feasible? Maybe, maybe not. One thing's for certain though, Marcel Sabitzer would have no problems settling in at Liverpool.

Schooled in the art of relentless pressing, the Austrian has been one of RB Leipzig's standout performers over the past three seasons.

Remarkably versatile, his best football comes when he is fielded in central midfield. Right in the heart of the action, he destructively breaks up play and salvages the wreckage to lay on chances for his teammates as well as banging a fair few in himself.

With just two years left on his deal and with Bayern Munich looking likely to continue their stranglehold over German football for the foreseeable future, Sabitzer may fancy a change of scenery in the summer and what better place than Anfield?


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