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Thiago Alcantara Right to Join Rising Bayern Munich

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 18:  Thiago Alcantara of Spain celebrates his team's second goal during the UEFA European U21 Championship final match between Italy and Spain at Teddy Stadium on June 18, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2013

Although Manchester United fans worldwide will be shaking their heads in disappointment at the club not being able to tie up a deal for Thiago Alcantara, the player is right to have chosen Bayern Munich over a Premier League move.

As was announced by the club’s official website, Bayern paid a sum in the region of €20 million for the Spanish Under-21 European Championship victor.

Considering how some money has been spent on players in recent years only for them to flop, it’s an incredibly shrewd deal, making it of little wonder as to why the German champions are run so smoothly.

However, in the wake of Thiago’s move, the 22-year-old has inevitably incurred the anger of those he shunned at Old Trafford.

In reality, though, what is there for Manchester United fans to really be bitter about?

At the Allianz Arena, Thiago will link back up with Pep Guardiola, the man who gave him his first senior start as a player and the man who first pushed him into the world spotlight.

That’s a bond created between men that seldom few of us will ever truly understand; the faith necessary to play such a young player, regardless of what other talents may lie in the squad.

In Munich, the pair will aim to resume a project which begun all the way back in 2007, when Guardiola assumed the reins of Barcelona B and Thiago was merely an academy player attempting to make the cut.

Granted, the player would almost certainly have received more initial playing time should he have moved to Old Trafford.

What’s more, he would have undoubtedly been made club captain should he have opted to make a move to Bolton Wanderers, or perhaps even a part-owner should a switch to Crewe Alexandra have come about (not that those two clubs were ever in the running).

The point is that playing time isn’t a sole excuse to move to a particular club. In the two or three years Thiago may have featured as a prominent first-team player for Manchester United, he still wouldn’t win as many trophies as he will playing a bit-part role with Der FCB.

European champions and 2013 treble winners, Bayern Munich are at the crest of world football right now, and have arguably the most talented tactician for a manager at their helm.

You simply don’t turn that combination down.

In his new surroundings, Thiago will compete against Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze, Javi Martinez and Luiz Gustavo for a starting place. That’s presuming the squad remains as it is past this summer, something that is far from definite just yet.

Given that Schweinsteiger is 28 years old and the rest of that field is of a similar age to Thiago, the newest addition to the Bayern midfield may find it easier to fit in than many suppose.

This is bearing in mind that, at his previous club, Thiago was battling with Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets for a starting place, arguably of similar pedigree to Bayern’s selection.

Almost guaranteed to challenge for European honours once more this season, Thiago’s decision to join Bayern Munich is a no-brainer from the player’s perspective.

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