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Klopp won't praise Thiago as he doesn't want to curse him and says he would miss Everton if they were relegated

11:12 BST 22/04/2022
Thiago Liverpool
The Liverpool boss says he never had any doubts the Spain international would come good and is looking forward to another Merseyside derby

Thiago Alcantara has been catching the eye for Liverpool, but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is wary of lavishing the Spain international with too much praise for fear of cursing him.

The German tactician claims to have an unfortunate history of lauding players only to then see them immediately ruled out of his plans by injuries.

He will leave others to talk up the qualities of Thiago, with those at Anfield never in any doubt the playmaker would come good despite early questions.

What has Klopp had to say on Thiago?

Thiago graduated out of La Masia academy at Barcelona and moved to England after a Champions League win with Bayern Munich, and has hit a serious purple patch.

Thiago has been running games for Liverpool with his creativity and passing ability in the middle of the park, with Klopp saying of the 31-year-old’s contribution: “It is great but I don’t want to talk too much about one player, not because he doesn’t deserve it but because when I do something happens to the player so I leave this room and Thiago feels something!”

The Reds coach added: “People were questioning if he suits our football? Thank god these people don’t make decisions!

“If a player is calming a game down in moments due to a lot of reasons it is nothing we thought, it is more important Thiago wanted to join us and knew how we played.

“He is a real football person and thinks a lot about football. He knew how we played and how we would fit in.

“It is about getting fit and staying fit and getting used to the slight differences to the other club. Thiago had only one problem, he was injured and that didn’t help. We only signed him because we knew he would suit us.”

Klopp wants Everton to survive

Thiago and Klopp are readying themselves for a meeting with local rivals Everton.

The Toffees are due to make the short trip across Stanley Park to Anfield on Sunday, with a very serious threat that the Merseyside derby will be removed from a Premier League schedule in 2022-23 as the men from Goodison Park battle to beat the drop.

Klopp is hoping that Frank Lampard can steer a course to safety for Everton, saying when asked if he would miss the clashes with cross-city neighbours: “Of course, we are used to the two clubs in the city and that is how it is. Usually the full week before we play, all the talk is about the derby so yes of course.”

Pressed on whether the latest derby will be even more intense as Everton bid to avoid relegation and Liverpool chase down another title, Klopp said: “Maybe yes, but these derbies never lacked intensity to be honest.

“I love intensity and physicality in football but there is a rule book and make sure we all stick to that and don’t go over the top. I just want to have a very intense, very physical game but not more because we play games after the derby.

"This game is important for both but I can’t remember when it was not important for both. I don’t know where we would be without the points against Everton.”

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