Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has criticised Thiago Alcantara’s big game displays and said the German champions should consider selling the Spain international for the right fee.
Thiago, 27, signed for Bayern from Barcelona at the start of Pep Guardiola’s three-year reign in 2013. The Spain international has won the Bundesliga title five times in succession, and the DFB Pokal twice, but has never progressed past the Champions League semifinals with the Bavarians.
Thiago faced heavy criticism after Bayern’s narrow 4-3 exit on aggregate to defending champions Real Madrid and their 3-1 DFB Pokal loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
“Thiago hasn’t made the difference in the big games,” Matthaus told Sport Bild. “I actually rate him but he’s been a shadow of his former self recently.
“Thiago has disappointed me in the past few weeks.”
With the scores tied at 1-1 against Eintracht, the Spain international (two goals in 27 appearances) had to make way for record signing Corentin Tolisso after the hour mark. But not before gesturing frustratedly to retiring coach Jupp Heynckes that he wasn’t happy at being substituted.
After calming down, Thiago applied an ice pack to his knee on the bench and Heynckes told reporters that Thiago had apologised for his actions.
“I don’t know where his head is,” Matthaus said. “With these performances, he’s not a player for Bayern Munich.”
While Arturo Vidal will use the summer to step up his recovery from knee surgery, new signing Leon Goretzka will arrive from Schalke after the World Cup to further intensify competition for midfield places. Matthaus stressed that Bayern could be open to moving Thiago on as they are well-stocked in midfield with the likes of Thomas Muller, James Rodriguez, Tolisso and Sebastian Rudy all battling for a spot.
“If a suitable offer is on the table, then Bayern should think about it,” he said.
The Italian-born midfielder has also struggled to remain injury-free since joining the club and picked up a serious muscle injury in their Champions League game at Anderlecht this season, keeping him out for almost three months. Ultimately, he made only 12 starts in Bayern’s 34 Bundesliga games this season — playing only nine games over the full 90 minutes.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.