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Paul Merson has picked who he considers being the best five midfielders in the Premier League and selected Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara at number two.

The Spanish international's influence continues to grow at Liverpool with the team clearly not as strong when he is not playing.

Liverpool Thiago

This is a view shared by Merson who explained in his column in sportskeeda the qualities that the 31-year brings to the Liverpool team.

"Thiago Alcantara is an unbelievable footballer, he's a class act. When he doesn't play, Liverpool are a completely and utterly different team and we've seen that a handful of times already this season. When he first joined, there was a lot of talk that he slowed Liverpool down a little, but after he adapted to the pace of the Premier League, there's been no stopping him!

"I just like the way he plays and moves - he's always looking forward and is more than comfortable with playing one-touch football when the situation calls for it. I like players who see things on the football pitch before they happen and he's one of them, which is why I'm such a big fan of him.

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"People might be a bit surprised with Thiago's inclusion at #2, but this is how I see the game and I genuinely believe that this guy is a special player. We're talking about a world-class player who makes such a huge difference to a team like Liverpool - we saw it first-hand against Ajax when he started the game and absolutely ran the show for his team.

"These lists are obviously very subjective and could change every week, but Thiago is a player I've always rated over the years."

Merson picked Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne as his number one pick which is not really a surprise considering the Belgian's impact for Pep Guardiola's team.

Roberto Firmino Kevin De Bruyne

Jorginho of Chelsea is at number three in Merson's list, Rodri of Manchester City at number four, and Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard number five.



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