Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed his longstanding admiration of new Liverpool recruit Thiago Alcantara.
Last season’s runaway Premier League champions bolstered their squad this summer with the additions of Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas, but it has been the signing of the Spain international midfielder that has really excited the Anfield faithful.
Thiago is braced to make his home debut against Arsenal on Monday having impressed as a second half substitute in last week’s convincing 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal were said to be among a number of clubs monitoring Thiago’s situation and although Arteta refused to be drawn on whether the Gunnres registered an official interest, he did confess he was a fan of the player, dating back to his time with Barcelona.
He said: ‘Yeah, I really like him from my time that I was in Barcelona as well. A player with incredible personality, great talent, very special qualities to play in midfield. I think he’s a great signing for Liverpool.’
Arteta remains keen on bolstering his midfield with Lucas Torreira likely to depart and Matteo Guendouzi still out of favour. Deals for Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar remain a priority but negotiations with both Atletico Madrid and Lyon have been far from straightforward.
Chelsea’s Jorginho has emerged as a possible alternative but Arteta refused to address the mounting speculation at Firday’s pre-match press conference.
He said: ‘No, we don’t have any updates on Lucas or any other player at the momen
‘We are still open to improve our team, we are looking for different options depending on what happens with some of our players here so we are getting prepared just in case we need to do something.
‘Sorry, but I cannot talk about players (like Jorginho) that play for a different team. [Discussing] their qualities is not appropriate from my side.’