Jurgen Klopp has quietly masterstroked Thiago Alcantara before last year at Liverpool

Of all the signs that Liverpool have taken a more long-term view in recent months, the decision to speed up Thiago Alcantara’s operation was one of the most telling.

A hip injury picked up towards the start of the year left Thiago on the sidelines for two months between early February and April, missing 10 games in total before returning as a second-half substitute in the 2- 2 draw against Arsenal on Easter Sunday.

In reality, however, Thiago’s campaign was virtually curtailed after his last start, which came in a 3-0 defeat to Wolves on 4 February. His return consisted of four substitute appearances lasting a total of 96 minutes before the decision was made. surgery to correct what had become a long-standing complaint.

The decision to go under the knife was taken with a view to getting the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona stat fit in time for pre-season rather than delaying the minor operation so Thiago could continue to contribute for the rest of ​​a campaign that had fallen by the wayside.

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“Thiago needs surgery and is out for the rest of the season,” Jurgen Klopp said on the eve of Brentford’s visit to Anfield in early May. “It’s the same problem that he was out for a couple of months recently. Do I expect him now to be ready for pre-season? Yes, that’s why we’re doing it now.”

Thiago was seen on crutches for the end-of-season lap of honor at Anfield following the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on May 20, and while the decision to have the operation meant he was forced to miss the last four games in a campaign. who still had slim hopes of a top-4 finish at the time, it was a strategic call very much focused on getting him fit and firing in time for the new term.

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