Lothar Matthaus feels that Bayern Munich should sell its Spanish midfielder after a subpar run of form, but his logic just does not add up.
Germany legend Lothar Matthäus gave Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcântara a scathing review on Wednesday, advising the Bavarian giants to cash in on the 27-year-old who, in Matthäus’ eyes at least, is not good enough to be a part of their squad.
But even for one of the Bundesliga’s most outspoken and often criticised personalities, Matthäus is dangerously treading on thin ice in his analysis of Thiago.
It is without question that the Spain international has been below par in recent weeks, and Thiago’s drop in form unsurprisingly coincides with Bayern Munich wrapping up the league title and dropping out of the Champions League – although this could be said for most of their squad.
But Thiago is rightly held in high regard across the footballing world, with a majority of fans deeming the former Barcelona star as one of the most technically gifted midfielders on the planet.
A number of muscle injuries have seen Thiago receive limited playing time this season but the 27-year-old still remains as one of Bayern Munich’s best performing midfielders.
Thiago has a higher pass completion and total passes statistic than any of his midfield counterparts this season, with only James Rodríguez making more key passes in the German top flight.
But Thiago’s influence in the Bayern Munich squad isn’t just limited to attack. Despite being one of the most creative players at the club, the Spaniard has shown time and time again how he is a forced to be recorded in his defensive duties.
The La Masia graduate has won more tackles per 90 minutes that his compatriot Javi Martínez, who was deployed as a defensive midfielder under Jupp Heynckes throughout the season. Thiago also averages more blocks and interceptions than Chilean hard-man Arturo Vidal every game.
But regardless of Thiago’s brilliant stats, what is it about the midfielder that doesn’t make him a Bayern Munich player? Is it because the Bavarians didn’t sign him from a Bundesliga rival?
Additionally, Thiago is unlikely to be the first name on fans’ lips when they think of an underperforming player – especially in Matthäus’ time frame of “recent weeks.”
Robert Lewandowski may have maintained a steady goalscoring towards the end to the campaign, but you don’t have to be a football fan to see that the Polish striker has had one eye on the summer transfer window for weeks.
And let’s not even start on the season that Mr. Bayern Munich – otherwise know as Thomas Müller – has had this campaign. If the Bavarians, for some strange reason, do decide to heed to Matthäus’ advice there is no question that they would find a replacement in no time at all.
But you’d be hard-pressed to find a single team in Europe where the ex-Barça star would not be welcomed with open arms.
Although he is still very much a playmaking midfielder, his development into more of an all-rounder should make Thiago the player who Bayern Munich build their squad around – not a player who can be cast off just because he isn’t ‘Bayern’ enough.