John Barnes has insisted that new signing Thiago is “not necessarily” included in Liverpool’s first choices to start when fit.

Thiago signed for Liverpool after seven years of success with Bayern Munich in a deal worth £20m. He made his debut for the Reds in a 2-0 win over Chelsea earlier this season.

The Spaniard came into the team and hit the ground running right away with a typically assured performance. But he tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after, which hampered his start to life at Anfield.

He returned to action against Everton on October 17 at Goodison Park. But Thiago suffered a knee injury in that game, which has ruled him out for the next five weeks.

Barnes told BonusCodeBets, as cited by the Daily Star, that he does not see Thiago as an immediate starter for Liverpool when he returns:

“When you are playing regularly that is when you can cement your position within the team, but, due to injuries, Thiago hasn’t been able to do that and played only a handful of games.

“He will be in contention to play, depending on the game. If Liverpool are facing an opposition who defend in numbers and defend deep, then Thiago is the man who can create something from nothing.

“He is not necessarily one of the first names in the midfield three even before he was injured.

“It is the same with Diogo Jota, both players are giving Liverpool options and have the same quality as the other players but are not certainties to start each week.

“Jota has scored so many goals since he joined, and he doesn’t start all the time. It is not a question of playing well it is all about the balance of the team, who compliments who.”

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“Regardless of their ability, they have come in and settled everyone’s nerves..”

“If Jota goes to Barcelona, for example, he won’t go there and score loads of goals or play as well.”

“At this moment in time, Diogo Jota would not get picked ahead of one of the front three players…”

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