EPL

Thiago is a 'special' signing for Liverpool, says Arteta

By Sports Desk September 25, 2020

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Liverpool signing Thiago Alcantara ahead of two matches between the teams in the space of four days.

The Gunners, who have won each of their three matches in all competitions this season, face the Premier League champions at Anfield on Monday, before an EFL Cup tie at the same venue on Thursday.

Thiago came off the substitutes' bench to make an impressive debut for Liverpool in their win at Chelsea last weekend, Jurgen Klopp's men also coming into the double-header on the back of a 100 per cent start.

Midfielder Thiago signed from Bayern Munich for around £25million and had also been linked with Arsenal and other English clubs, though Arteta would not discuss his own side's reported interest.

"Yes, I think he is a great signing for Liverpool," he said about Thiago at his pre-match news conference. 

"Incredible personality, great talent, very special, great qualities to play in midfield.

"We don't discuss the things we try and do in the market, but I like him from my time in Barcelona."

Discussing Arsenal's wins over Liverpool in their last two meetings, Arteta added: "The games we played at the Emirates [in July] and the Community Shield were very different.

"I think it will be different again. We know the standards they have set in this league and how consistent they have been.

"They dominate almost every aspect of the game. We need to compete really well and hopefully the boys are ready to do that on Monday.

"There is some variability depending on what they do, how we have to control those aspects, how we can attack in different ways as well.

"It is like quick waves all the time with them, without much time to breathe. It is a really quick game, it doesn't see long sequences of passes against them. We have to be at our best, that is for sure.
 
"It is normally difficult enough to play the same team in four days and for the players as well to adapt. Obviously, the first game has a big impact on the second one and it is really tough to beat the same opponent twice in that short period.
 
"When you talk about Liverpool that challenge is much bigger but I just want to focus on Monday.

"Let's try to get the best possible preparation against them, go there, and most importantly have the belief that we can go there and win. We all have to believe that we are capable of doing that.

"We know the challenge ahead of us, so let's embrace it, let's go for it."

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