Kevin Phillips has tipped Thiago Alcantara to add competition to Liverpool's midfield next season, following the news that Jordan Henderson picked up a long-term injury against Brighton.
With the new season to commence shortly after the completion of the current restarted campaign, the Reds may be forced to start their title defence without their captain following a knee problem, which he sustained in the 3-1 win this week.
Former Sunderland and West Brom striker Phillips, speaking to Football Insider, suggested that Jurgen Klopp may need other options to Henderson in the long-term.
“Henderson has been amazing," he said. "He has picked up an injury and Klopp said it is not a good one. That is not good and only time will tell what will happen there.
“The next season not that far away anyone coming into that area, maybe a Thiago, could slot in quite nicely. There is competition there but these top players do not mind that. That is what brings out the best in them and he is certainly a player, if called upon, would help.
“Thiago is phenomenal. I like him a lot but that’s all I have to say about that.”
Liverpool have been heavily linked with the Bayern Munich playmaker since the resumption of the Bundesliga, where it was made clear that the 29 year-old Spaniard is after a change of scene.
Italian-born Thiago has been at Bayern for a remarkable seven consecutive Bundesliga winning seasons after joining from Barcelona in 2013. Whilst at the Camp Nou, he also won two La Liga titles and a Champions League.
Despite being a regular feature last season, he has found game time harder to come by this time around, particularly since lockdown, owing to the fruitful partnership between Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in Bayern's midfield.
Henderson's knee injury is not thought to be as serious as first feared and he won't require surgery. Crucially Klopp confirmed that the Liverpool skipper will be fit enough to at least lift the Premier League trophy aloft in a couple of weeks time.