Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta's verdict on Liverpool's signing of Thiago Alcantara


Mikel Arteta has hailed Thiago Alcantara as a “great signing” for Liverpool as Arsenal prepare to face the Reds twice in just four days.

The Gunners travel to Anfield on Monday night in the Premier League before another trip to Merseyside in the fourth round of Carabao Cup on Thursday.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been ruled out of the first meeting and is a doubt for the cup tie, meaning midfielder Thiago could feature in both matches.

The Reds secured the Spaniard from Bayern Munich for an initial fee of £20million last week and Arteta heaped praise on the “very special” 29-year-old.

Arteta has lauded his “very special” compatriot Thiago

“Yes, I think he is a great signing for Liverpool,” Arteta said of his compatriot in his pre-match press conference.

“Incredible personality, great talent, very special, great qualities to play in midfield.”

Though Liverpool led the race to sign Thiago throughout the transfer window, they reportedly faced late challenges from Manchester United and Arsenal to land the former Barcelona man’s signature.

How should Arteta set up Arsenal to deal with Thiago on Monday night? Have your say here.

Thiago shone as he made his debut in the 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend

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Arteta refused to be drawn when asked if he submitted an offer for Thiago, responding: “We don’t discuss the things we try and do in the market, but I like him from my time in Barcelona.”

The Gunners boss also discussed how his preparation will be impacted by facing the same team twice in quick succession.

He added: “It is normally difficult enough to play the same team in four days and for the players as well to adapt.

“Obviously, the first game has a big impact on the second one and it is really tough to beat the same opponent twice in that short period.

“When you talk about Liverpool that challenge is much bigger but I just want to focus on Monday.

“Let’s try to get the best possible preparation against them, go there, and most importantly have the belief that we can go there and win. We all have to believe that we are capable of doing that.

“We know the challenge ahead of us, so let’s embrace it, let’s go for it.”

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