Alexis Mac Allister: Liverpool complete transfer of World Cup-winning midfielder from Brighton

Liverpool have completed the signing of World Cup-winning midfielder Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton.

The Argentina international, who was one of the stars of Qatar 2022, makes the move to Anfield for what is understood to be for an initial fee of around £35m. Sources suggest it could rise to £55m.

Mac Allister, who was signed from Argentinos Juniors, spent four years at Brighton, including two loan spells back in his homeland.

Sky Sports News understands he was identified as a key target for Liverpool prior to the World Cup and the club value his versatility.

Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, he said: “It feels amazing. It’s a dream come true, it’s amazing to be here and I can’t wait to get started.

“I wanted to be in [from] the first day of pre-season, so it’s good that everything is done. I’m looking forward to meeting my team-mates.

“It was a fantastic year for me – World Cup, what we achieved with Brighton – but now it’s time to think about Liverpool and try to be a better player and a better human being every day.”

The 24-year-old’s arrival is likely to begin what looks set to be a busy summer at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp looking to freshen up a side that missed out on Champions League qualification this season.

Alexis Mac Allister kisses the World Cup trophy after Argentina's win over France
Image: Alexis Mac Allister played a key role in Argentina’s successful World Cup campaign in Qatar

Midfield is a particular area of need for Liverpool, with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner all leaving the club with their contracts expiring, while Arthur Melo will return to Juventus at the end of his loan deal.

Milner is set to move to Brighton, with his switch to the Amex close to completion.

‘Mac Allister fits the bill for Liverpool’ | ‘He won’t be the only midfield signing’

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:

The signing of Mac Allister is in line with Liverpool’s planned strengthening of midfield.

They like his attitude in his fight to become an elite-level player having returned to Argentina twice for loan spells after moving to Brighton. He also didn’t feature in an Argentina national team until U20. In fact he only had eight full caps before the World Cup kicked off and had not played a full 90 minutes for them before then.

His progress has been tracked up to him becoming an elite performer in the Premier League and was identified as a key target before the World Cup. His age (24) and games played (160) fit in with Liverpool’s key markers for tried and trusted performers…..Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, and Virgil van Dijk also fell into category of age 23-25 and around 175 mark in terms of appearances.

He’s versatile meaning he can play all possible midfield roles and combinations. Klopp likes his game intelligence.

Mac Allister will not be Liverpool’s only midfield signing as they look to strengthen their options from their remaining pool following the departures of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

It makes sense to add greater depth given Fabinho will be 30 in October. Jordan Henderson will turn 33 this month. Thiago is 32 and has been beset by injury problems during his time at Anfield and has only 12 months remaining on his contract.

Further options would also aid rather than hinder the continued development of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Stefan Bajcetic and Fabio Carvalho, who could still be freed up for a loan spell for more regular first-team football.

How Mac Allister could help Liverpool rebuild midfield

Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:

Liverpool’s midfield has been scrutinised for some time, seen as the root cause of their decline. Overhauling it offers a route out of their problems. The acquisition of Mac Allister could prove to be a significant moment for Jurgen Klopp.

The Argentina international has pedigree. Already a World Cup winner, the 24-year-old midfielder has proven himself in the Premier League at Brighton and has the breadth of skills that make him an ideal fit for the demands at Liverpool.

Alexis Mac Allister stats vs Liverpool midfielders

It is why Jude Bellingham was long seen as the solution. At its best, a Klopp midfield includes players who can defend and attack, tackle, pass and shoot. Mac Allister can do all of that. Speaking to him in January, he was acutely aware of his own positional flexibility.

“I always say that I like to be in contact with the ball,” he told Sky Sports. “The closer I am to the ball, the better I feel. I like to play as a midfielder. It does not matter if it is as a 6, an 8 or a 10. I grew up as a 10. But then I understood that I could play in more positions.

“I think it is important for the modern player to be able to play in different positions to give the team and the manager different options. If you ask me I would say that today I feel more comfortable as an 8, but I know I can play as a 6 or a 10.”


Merson: Mac Allister would be great for Liverpool

Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after giving Brighton the lead from the penalty spot
Image: Mac Allister is on the move to Anfield after four years at Brighton

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:

“If Liverpool are going to challenge for the league as well as just the top four, for them to get Mac Allister would be a great signing. He’s a top player, a World Cup winner and was a massive influence in that tournament.

“He’s a very good player, a very calming influence on the pitch. He keeps the ball and ticks it along, and reminds me a bit of an Ilkay Gundogan without the goals.

“He’s a different kind of player to Jude Bellingham who they wanted before. Bellingham would get forward a bit more, but Mac Allister does the simple stuff very, very well.

“People might say, ‘Oh, the simple stuff?’ But there’s not a lot of players who can do that.”

‘It’s a huge loss for Brighton’

Sky Sports News’ Anton Toloui:

“This is what Brighton are losing. They’re a bit of a victim of their own success for how they’ve developed him over the last couple of years. The 10th highest number of shots across the whole Premier League – he’s creative, he can add things to the final third, and he will put the hard work in too.

“He’s top of so many metrics for Brighton, it’s a huge loss for them as they go into their first season in Europe. We know how they work, they’ve already got targets lined up. We know Mahmoud Dahoud is coming in from Borussia Dortmund but he’s not exactly like-for-like.

“With the speculation around Moises Caicedo this summer, it’s going to be really interesting to see what they do in midfield. It’s a huge loss for Brighton – and it shows why Liverpool went out and got him signed so early.”

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