It appears as though the long-running transfer saga of Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara appears to be over, with the Spanish midfielder set to sign a four year deal with the Premier League champions.
Thiago has 2 La Liga, 7 Bundesliga and 2 Champions League titles among a number of other honours to his name, which begs the question, is he the most high-profile player to sign with the club in the last 20 years?
Here are five other high-profile players who arrived at the club with high expectations and world class status.
The Finnish superstar joined Liverpool in the 2000-01 following a season with Barcelona. He made a name for himself in seven seasons at Ajax where he scored 129 goals in 228 games, winning four Eredivisies, the Champions League and the Super Cup on the way. Entering the latter stages of his career, Litmanen couldn’t quite find his feet in England, scoring just 9 goals in 43 games. Fernando Morientes
With the lesser known strike brigade of Djibril Cisse and Milan Baros leading the line for Liverpool in the 2004-05 campaign, Rafa Benitez opted to bring in some more Spanish flair, in the shape of Fernando Morientes in January. Morientes had come off the back of a blistering 2003-04 UCL campaign, winning the UEFA club forward and top scorer award on loan at Monaco as they finished runners-up to Porto. Morientes arrived at Liverpool having also won 2 La Ligas and an astonishing 3 UEFA Champions League titles. Unfortunately he only lasted 18 months at Liverpool scoring 12 goals in 60 appearances, coming away with an FA Cup win to his name however.
After the departure of Fernando Torres, Suarez joined six months after a stellar World Cup with Uruguay where he showcased himself well and truly on the world stage. He notched up 81 league goals in just 110 games for Ajax. In 2009-10, he won the Dutch footballer of the year, Eredivisie golden boot and Ajax player of the year. Perhaps overshadowed by the expensive acquisition of Andy Carroll, Suarez was a major signing, and at Liverpool he only enhanced his status as one of the greatest strikers in the modern era.
Virgil Van Dijk
Van Dijk’s signing for Liverpool attracted headlines more so for the £75 million price tag that came with him. However he was also the standout central defender outside any of the top six teams. With a stuttering back four, Van Dijk was expected to make a major difference and he did rather promptly, proving to be the definition of world class, staking his claim as the best defender in world football.
Struggling to find a keeper to nail down the no.1 spot since Pepe Reina, after Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius’ errors kept proving costly, Liverpool went in the market after the calamitous 2018 Champions League final for a big name goalkeeper. Alisson had just come off the back of a breakout season with Roma, where he made the Serie A team of the year, won the Serie A Goalkeeper of the year and made the Champions League squad of the season after Roma made the semi-finals. In just 2 seasons with Liverpool, he’s already won the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup and a number of individual honours.