In his press conference previewing Bayern Munich’s final Bundesliga match of the season against VfL Wolfsburg, Hansi Flick refuted some of the criticism that has been aimed at midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Earlier this week Lothar Matthäus said Bayern would be absolutely fine if Thiago, who has not yet signed an extension, were to leave. He said Thiago was too quiet in big matches and hasn’t been a “key player” in recent times.
Flick went to bat for his midfielder when he was asked about the contract situation during the press conference, rubbishing Matthäus’s claims (Bild):
“There always are so-called experts who have their own opinion... If you see him every day, see what extraordinary quality he has, for me there can be no two opinions about his quality. He is an extraordinary player who gives a team that certain something. That’s my opinion — and I think that there is no other.”
Since the Bundesliga’s restart, Thiago has fallen out of favor to Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, who have been Bayern’s go-to midfield pivot. His fortunes haven’t been helped by a groin problem that caused him to miss Bayern’s last three matches. He has made a total of three appearances since play resumed. He’s been linked with a potential move to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool or perhaps even a return to Spain, but nothing is concrete yet.
Thiago has resumed training and Flick said the goal is to have him ready for the DFB-Pokal final against Bayer Leverkusen on July 4th. When Flick was asked about Thiago’s potential involvement in the final, he said “the plan is that he’s there.” Whether that means he’ll be in the starting lineup remains to be seen, but at the moment, it doesn’t look likely.