After tearing his MCL in spring 2014, Thiago Alcantara suffered two setbacks in his return to the Bayern Munich first team that ultimately cost his a year of his career. His return came just when Bayern Munich needed it the most as injuries to Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery deprived Bayern Munich of much of their dynamic creative depth. Into that void stepped Thiago.
His Season Performance
For a season where Thiago spent eight months injured, it's hard to find much to talk about. The Bundesliga was already decided up on his return and the only things up for grabs were the DFB POkal and the Champions League. It was in the later competition that Alcantara shined, coming on mid-way through the first leg against Porto to revitalize a floundering Bayern offense before catapulting the team to one of the most comprehensive wins of any team in the Champions League this season. He was equally impressive in Bayern Munich's tie against Barcelona, controlling the midfield with ease and grace, even though Bayern succumbed to defeat.
Unfortunately, Thiago wasn't quite able to replicate that form to save Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal against Borussia Dortmund. But let's not talk about that game at all because, ugh.
Next Season Prospects
A healthy Thiago Alcantara is one of the most precious gifts Bayern Munich can receive. The Spaniard is an adept defensive player, a chameleon in midfield, and one of the best creative midfielders on the planet. He fits so many roles in Pep Guardiola's system that his mere presence can plug any hole for fill in for any player. That's one of the skills that Guardiola prizes the most and uses to optimal effect. Next season could be something special -- if he can stay healthy.