John Barnes believes Thiago Alcantara has received “unfair” criticism during his challenging first campaign with Liverpool.
But he has no doubts the midfielder will come good next season to stamp his mark as one of the “top performers” in the Premier League.
Thiago joined the Reds for an initial £20million last summer and saw his minutes limited after suffering a knee injury in last October’s Merseyside derby.
He has been singled out for criticism during a disastrous Liverpool season and Barnes is among those to previously take aim at the Spaniard.
But the Anfield hero has changed his tune on Thiago and now insists the 29-year-old will flourish during his second season on Merseyside.
“Playing with no crowds can be tough for any player, especially one who has only been playing in England for less than a year.
“Then suddenly because of the injury situation, he’s now come into a team who are not playing well, as well as getting unfair criticism.
“The way that he plays with the team we currently have, things just aren’t working at Anfield and I do really feel for him as he is a top player.
“Thiago may feel that he needs the crowd for inspiration and to perform better.
- ^ among those to previously take aim at the Spaniard (www.mirror.co.uk)
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- ^ Premier League (www.mirror.co.uk)
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- ^ Liverpool (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Fabinho returned to midfield (www.mirror.co.uk)
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