This past week, Thiago Alcantara made a move to Bayern Munich and, in doing so, made three different clubs have their names thrust into the headlines. Within this piece, we will discuss what it means for all three teams and what it means for Thiago. A truly talented player, and a player that will certainly be one of the world’s premier midfielders for the next decade, Thiago’s transfer may have a deeper effect than what we can currently see. However, since my crystal ball is currently on the fritz, I will stick with what seems to be the current items involved with the transfer.
From the club that Thiago just left, Barcelona, it can only be seen as a massive mistake. Although it seems like Xavi will patrol the Barca midfield until he is fifty, the time will come for the Spanish giants to start replacing some of their older players. Not only did Thiago seem to be a great replacement for Xavi, he seems to be a little more proficient at scoring goals than his old compatriot. As Thiago replaces Xavi for the national team, Barcelona will definitely get a first-hand look at what they could have had. For Barcelona, this can only be a blight on their recent history.
For the club that Thiago almost joined, Manchester United, it is the first chink in David Moyes armor. It is no secret that United are strong nearly everywhere on the pitch and that they have upcoming youth that will easily slot in for the champions everywhere except for in the midfield. By letting Thiago slip away, Moyes has shown that United may not be able to consider themselves a top three destination in Europe anymore. With Sir Alex, would this transfer have been a lock? For Moyes, he will not want to allow there to be room for questions. All it takes is a little doubt before the fans start calling for your resignation. For United, this can only be seen as a big swing and a miss.
For the club that Thiago is now a player for, Bayern Munich, it is Pep Guardiola’s first purchase from his former club. It is also an interesting move by the German and European champions. The incoming midfielder will be facing stiff competition to gain a starting position, and he probably would have had more luck with his old club. But, Thiago will also have the ear of the manager and may end up snagging a few starts simply because of the familiarity. The only negative that could be taken from this move would be if Pep tries to force “tiki-taka” on Munich, but he must see that Bayern is not in need of a tactical change of that magnitude and should only be adding a few small aspects. For Bayern, this is a big coup and will be a player that they could turn to for years.
For Thiago, he is moving to the early favorite to repeat for the Champions League trophy. He will be treated like a star and his time at Bayern may see him move from a promising youth player into a shining star of the world’s game. Plus, the thought of growing up with Toni Kroos and forming a strong midfield for years and years will be something that intrigues any player. For Thiago, he made the easiest decision in world football- join the strongest team and get paid to do it.
Everyone in this move will definitely look back on the move in a different light after a few seasons…or maybe even after this one. Considering how strong a player Thiago already is, the general aspects may not change at all. However, football is a fickle mistress and the future is anything but guaranteed for these players. In the same vein, it is amazing how many clubs are affected by one player putting on a different jersey. I love this game!