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Hoddle pulls apart 'sussed' Liverpool: Thiago will be great; but top 4 in danger

Former England coach Glenn Hoddle has dismissed the debate around Thiago Alcantara and whether he suits Jurgen Klopp's system at Liverpool.

Several Liverpool greats have questioned the impact of the summer signing from Bayern Munich at Anfield and whether his style of play benefits Liverpool. Former Reds and Bayern Munich midfielder Didi Hamann, for one, argues that Thiago's passing game slows down the Reds' natural approach under Klopp.

But Hoddle, while discussing Liverpool's FA Cup fourth round defeat at Manchester United on Sunday, is adamant Thiago will prove to be a great addition for Liverpool. The former AS Monaco star arguing Thiago will improve once Klopp is able to put his first-choice midfield around the Spain international.

Hoddle said on his podcast, ' The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show': "You mark my words... I think the balance, at the moment, isn't quite right in there. I think when Fabinho can go into that midfield - so their centre-backs are worked out, which they haven't had all season - or even if (Jordan) Henderson changes his position and sits, so Thiago can play as an eight and can create, that midfield will get even better, believe me.

"There's a lot more to come from him. When that will happen is the big question for Liverpool fans, for Liverpool and Klopp.

"He's such a wonderful footballer, he really is. But he's not 100 per cent fit yet. He needs to get a bit more match sharpness."

Hoddle also touched on Liverpool's market campaign this month, insisting that it's clear Klopp needs a defensive signing given their injury crisis.

The German spoke in the lead up to Sunday's Cup defeat that buying such a centre-half was out of his hands and Hoddle says: "I think it's evident that they need someone now.

"But it's getting the right one. I don't think they have anyone lined up where they're thinking 'he's a must, he's someone we need to go and get'. If there was someone there, I think he would be backed and given the money.

"Fabinho is doing a great job at centre-back and Henderson has also had to go back there. Rhys Williams is a good young kid, but he's not ready to play back-to-back games.

"He's (Klopp) trying to find a formula and (Joel) Matip has his back problem.

"It really is a problem. But I think if there was a really good centre-back out there and his club was willing to let him go, they would go and get him."

Hoddle also insists Liverpool's injury problems currently puts at risk a top four finish this season for the defending champions.

He added: "(Opposition teams) have sussed them a little bit. They know how to play Liverpool now. They know the fullbacks go really high - it played into United's hands. There were times in the first-half when they could counter against Liverpool. If you do it right you're in business.

"But when they have their top, top team together again they're going to be a major, major threat. But they are going to have to work hard to even get into that top four."

Listen to this week's full episode of 'The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show' - a Tribal Football partner - below:

Click here to visit the full archive of 'The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show'.

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Paul Vegas

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