Tony Cascarino lauded Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara after his brilliant Community Shield performance.

Thiago is “probably the most gifted player’s I’ve seen in the Premier League,” according to the pundit, who played for Aston Villa, Celtic, and Chelsea in the 1990s.

In an interview with Talk Sport, he raved about Thiago’s “technique,” saying the Spaniard is “extraordinary.”

He went on to say “We’ve all seen a lot, but Thiago is right up there with the best… He technically has everything.”

However, Cascarino correctly stated that “if he is injured, Liverpool will suffer” without him in their lineup.

Within the Liverpool squad, the 31-year-old is unique in terms of his midfield profile. He does not have a comparable understudy.

As a result, the Reds have been linked with Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes, who has comparable technical ability.

He can play as a deep-lying playmaker, connecting defense and attack, rather than as a box-to-box midfielder.

And now is the best time to bring in some competition for Thiago.

After struggling in his first year in English football, the midfielder really came into his own at Anfield last season, but given his age, his performance will soon begin to decline.

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With that in mind, Liverpool could look to bring in a player who can not only provide him with necessary cover this season, but also eventually succeed him.

In that regard, Nunes is a good fit. Coming from the Primeira Liga at the age of 23, he’ll need some time to adjust, which is fine because Thiago will continue to play ahead of him for the time being.

However, Nunes can learn from the “extraordinary” Thiago in the meantime, and Jürgen Klopp can be a little more relaxed when his star Spanish midfielder is unavailable for selection.

Concerns about Liverpool’s team performance when Thiago isn’t on the field demonstrate how much the Spaniard has improved in the last year.

Cascarino is correct; Thiago is an exceptional footballer.