‘Klopp has the best squad since he has been at the club’: Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes Thiago Alcantara has taken Reds to the next level… as he hails ‘magician’ that can be Anfield’s next Philippe Coutinho
- Liverpool signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in the summer window
- Ex-Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has heaped praise on the Spain international
- He says boss Jurgen Klopp now has the best squad he has ever had at Liverpool
- Enrique likened Alcantara’s ability to the ‘magic’ shown by Philippe Coutinho
Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes the club will be taken to another level this season by the signing of fellow Spaniard Thiago Alcantara.
Speaking to Sportsmail about his work on a new fitness initiative to help people exercise through coronavirus lockdown the former Anfield left back said: ‘He’s a phenomenal player. He’s a top midfielder but he’s also a magician in the way that [Philippe] Coutinho was.
‘I can see him alongside Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in midfield, and giving the team something they didn’t have before.
Thiago Alcantara (left) has taken Liverpool to the next level, according to Jose Enrique
The Spain star (left) is back in training for the Reds this week and has been labelled a ‘magician’
‘And it says a lot about where the club is right now that someone who is an important player at Bayern Munich wants to come and play for Liverpool.’
The 34-year-old former defender who was at Liverpool between 2011 and 2016 believes the signing of Diogo Jota is also good news for Liverpool fans.
‘Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri are good players but we were missing someone who, if he adapts, can reach the level of the other three forwards [Sadio Mane, Firmino and Mohamed Salah].
Now with Jota it would not be as serious a problem if one of the others were out for a longer period.
Enrique believes Thiago brings some of the same qualities as Philippe Coutinho (left) did
Coutinho is now back in the fold at Barcelona after spending time on loan at Bayern Munich
‘I think [Jurgen] Klopp has the best squad he has had since he has been at the club. And he will make the signings better players. He makes all of them better players.
‘It’s difficult to improve someone who a top Bayern player but Thiago will learn new things. He will be, if not the signing, then certainly one of the signing of the seasons.’
Jose Enrique has been trying to put his own playing career back on track on the veterans’ circuit but the coronavirus pandemic is making things difficult.
After being the all-clear following treatment for a rare brain tumour in 2018 he was back in a Liverpool shirt in a 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund last year.
He says: ‘There was a Liverpool v Barcelona game planned and all the doctors who carried out the brain surgery on me were due to be there but it had to be cancelled because of coronavirus.’
Jose Enrique (R) was back in a Liverpool shirt for a legends game against Dortmund last year
It’s that frustration at not being to exercise with friends because of coronavirus restrictions that have, in part, inspired his new fitness initiative.
He has teamed up with Switch & Co to offer online exercise classes for free.
Liverpool fans can now work out with the club’s former defender by registering on https://go.switchplus.online/joseenrique.
His first ‘HIIT Exercise’ class goes live on Saturday and will be one of a wide range of workouts available free until the end of next January.
‘Not being able to exercise, or only being able to exercise alone at home, can be a problem at the moment,’ he said.
Liverpool fans can now work out with the club’s former defender on the app Switch & Co
‘And the effects are not just physical. There is a clear link between mental state of health and physical activity.
‘This is completely free and you will feel mentally and physically better for it. I have suffered myself from problems of stress and anxiety with my illness, with long periods out injured as a player, and with post-retirement.
‘Physical workouts, even if it is just 30 minutes a day, can make a big difference.
‘There will be a variety of classes on the platform. You don’t need any equipment. And if you do the classes live, then you are working out with other people and we take a ‘zoom selfie’ at the end of the session and there is even time for some questions.
‘I’m saying to people give it a go, there is no excuse. I’ve been made to realise in the past that if you have to be happy with yourself, and any type of exercise helps in that process.’
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