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Thiago Alcantara speaks about Bayern’s transfers, the number 6 role, and more

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Thiago had a lot to say in a recent interview with Bild+.

RB Leipzig v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

Thiago Alcantara recently gave a lengthy interview to Bild+ where he discussed the upcoming season for Bayern, transfer activity thus far, life after Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, his preferred position, and more. The Spanish midfielder has been enjoying his holiday while also doing charity work in Barcelona for the “Alcántara Family Foundation.” Along with the outfield sextet of Javi Martinez, Thomas Muller, Corentin Tolisso, Jerome Boateng, Renato Sanches, and Jann-Fiete Arp, Thiago is scheduled to join up with the squad at Säbener Straße at the beginning of this week, while all of the other internationals are set to arrive at the end of the week.

Thus far, Bayern has made only three signings: Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, and Jann-Fiete Arp. The club has been linked with a laundry list of transfer targets, but nothing has yet materialized as far as a fourth signing is concerned. Thiago sees Hernandez, in particular, as a fantastic addition to the club:

He’s a great player who wanted to come to Bayern. I’ve seen him with Atletico Madrid and the French national team. He’s a machine physically, very strong. A very passionate player. He’s coming with massive experience as a world champion. He’s here to experience fantastic years. Unfortunately, he had a knee injury recently. I think he’ll be very happy at Bayern.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League
MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 06: Lucas Hernandez of Atletico Madrid und Arjen Robben of Muenchenbattle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Club Atletico de Madrid at Allianz Arena on December 6, 2016 in Munich, Germany.
Hernandez playing against Bayern in 2016.
(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

There’s no disguising the fact that many would argue that Bayern have not made enough reinforcements during the summer transfer window thus far and that there’s a worry that they’re having difficulties attracting the top talents. It’s increasingly worrisome given that rivals Borussia Dortmund have already had a solid transfer window bringing in Julian Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen, Thorgan Hazard from Borussia Monchengladbach, and Nico Schulz from Hoffenheim. Naturally, Thiago recognizes that Dortmund are always trying to do what they can to challenge Bayern, and he feels that more reinforcements for Bayern are necessary:

BVB reinforces itself well every year. Dortmund always wants to be on the same level as Bayern. So it’s normal that they try to make big purchases. From my perspective, we have a great team. But in light of the departures, we still have to reinforce ourselves in my opinion to achieve our goals next season.

Manchester City’s Leroy Sané has been number one on Bayern’s transfer list for the past two and a half months, but Bayern has also made Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé their “plan b” if they cannot convince Sané to leave City. Both are players that Thiago would personally enjoy playing alongside, and he feels that they could do good things for the club:

Dembélé is a magnificent player. But I’m not the sporting director, who decides whether or not he signs a player. I’m speaking as a soccer player who has played against him: he is a very good player. I’d love to play with all the magnificent players who would like to come to Bayern. The same is true about him [Sane]. Magnificent players are very welcome here, because we are a fantastic bunch.

Under Niko Kovac, Thiago was predominantly deputized as a holding central midfielder; a number 6 role with a bit of forward freedom, especially when he was accompanied in the midfield by Javi Martinez. Although he’s recognized more for his creative passing ability and offensive characteristics, Thiago takes pride in working on his one-on-one defending:

I have always tried to do defensive work as well as possible. I think that I’ve been very successful in the defensive midfield.

While he may prefer a more attacking role if he had the choice, Thiago says that he’s more than happy to play the number 6 role for Kovac and Bayern, even though Kovac has made it clear that he wants to pursue another defensive midfielder this summer. Thiago said,

I‘m happy to play everywhere as long as I may. But I like positions in the central midfield. I love bringing the team into the game, adding pace to the game, shaping the game. Doing what I consider important. Niko’s the one who knows the needs of our team the best. So if he thinks then that a position has to be covered, then we’ll welcome every player who helps us with open arms.