Mikel Arteta heaps praise on Liverpool’s Thiago ahead of Anfield test, Newsline

LONDON – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed he is a huge admirer of Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara but refused to confirm whether the north London club made an attempt to sign the player in the close season transfer window.

Premier League champions Liverpool secured a major coup last week when they completed the signing of Thiago from Champions League winners Bayern Munich, with British media reporting Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea were also keen on bringing in the Spain international.

When asked if Arsenal were interested in signing Thiago, Arteta said: “We don’t discuss the things we try and do in the market, but I like him from my time in Barcelona.

“Incredible personality, great talent, very special, great qualities to play in midfield and yes, I think he is a great signing for Liverpool.”

FA Cup winners Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield at the start of the new season and now face them twice in quick succession in the Premier League and League Cup fourth round.

Arteta’s side are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions but face a huge challenge at Anfield where they have failed to record a win since 2012.

“I haven’t been to Anfield with them yet but I’m expecting that every ground we go to, we’re going to prepare for the game to win and that they realise they are good enough to do that,” Arteta told reporters ahead of Monday’s league clash.

“In big games like that, every detail is really important to get a win. When we have our opportunities, we have to put them in the net.”