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Thiago can be a catalyst for United

FanZoner Dan Talintyre believes Thiago Alcantara could transform Manchester United into the country and continent's dominant force once more.

Last Updated: 03/07/13 at 15:28 Post Comment

Thiago Alcantara: The prospect of his arrival has excited United fans

Thiago Alcantara: The prospect of his arrival has excited United fans

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By all accounts, Barcelona midfielder Thiago will join United this summer, having been heavily linked to the club for several weeks now. With numerous media sources reporting that the Premier League champions are ready to dramatically increase Thiago's current salary, it seems that there is nothing standing in the way of a deal.

And while it might seem premature to jump all over the impending transfer of a 22-year-old Spanish international, the reality is that this deal - should it happen - could very well be the start of a new dynasty for Manchester United in both England and abroad.

Seriously?

Absolutely. That is how good Thiago is and how much of an impact he can have at Old Trafford.

Thiago's likely Nou Camp exit is seemingly the result of a lack of playing time with the Spanish champions. He's behind a number of world-class midfielders there and that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon, so the move makes sense, particularly given that Spain may be looking for changes to their national squad ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

If Thiago is going to make that team, he's going to need minutes. And to get minutes, he's going to have to move away which is where Manchester United come in to the equation.

United have been lacking a central playmaker for years now and while they managed just fine in the Premier League without one last year, they were shown to be vulnerable at times. The Everton game at the start of the year where Marouane Fellaini simply dominated springs to mind immediately, as does the Real Madrid game where Luka Modric came on in an attacking midfield role and gave Los Blancos a huge advantage going forward.

That need has been increased by the eventual retirement of Paul Scholes who, we think, has actually retired for good this time. Michael Carrick is seemingly all on his own in central midfield, and while Tom Cleverley did grow into the role a great deal last season, he is still a long way away from being a world-class central midfielder and a long-term partner for Carrick.

Thiago, on the other hand, most certainly is.

The 22-year-old is a perfect defensive midfielder for United, and one that could well turn their already strong squad into one of the best in Europe. He is technically brilliant (having played at Barcelona for several seasons) and has a superb passing game to match. However, Thiago also possesses a great ability to win back possession and turn defence into attack with his peripheral vision and first touch making him one of the most underrated playmakers in football.

He can pass, he can shoot - he can seemingly do it all in midfield, and it is those strengths that are going to be of huge assistance to United.

Manchester United need a central midfielder who can put them on the front foot, and Thiago can do that. We've seen from the success of Juan Mata and David Silva that Spanish playmakers are having a profound impact on the Premier League, and Thiago can do the same - utilising the extra space in the English game compared to the Spanish to create plenty of extra attacking opportunities.

Having been compared to both Scholes and Xavi, Thiago is the complete defensive midfielder who can feature effectively in any midfield role that David Moyes requires of him. His game is far from perfect, but at just 22, there's still plenty of time for him to grow into the role and for Moyes to shape him to be the midfielder that he needs at Old Trafford.

The most logical position for Thiago is alongside Carrick in central midfield-probably in a 4-2-3-1 formation, or even in a 4-4-1-1 depending on how the Wayne Rooney transfer saga unfolds. And when that happens, and he and Carrick/Cleverley start to connect like Scholes and Carrick did in years gone by, United could well be on the brink of another English dynasty.

Just like they had under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Robin van Persie, Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, Carrick, Antonio Valencia and now, Thiago. It's an attacking lineup to behold, and while it's not perfect for every situation, it's certainly capable of toppling the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for the Premier League title once more.

If United can clinch the league title in emphatic fashion without a true central midfielder like Thiago, it's a very scary thought to think what they can do once he does arrive.

Red Devils fans, this one is definitely worth the hype.

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