Liverpool’s midfield has been a subject of scrutiny for some time, with many seeing it as the root cause of the team’s decline. However, the acquisition of Alexis Mac Allister could prove to be a significant moment for Jurgen Klopp and the team. The Argentina international already has pedigree, having won a World Cup and proven himself in the Premier League at Brighton. He has the breadth of skills that make him an ideal fit for the demands at Liverpool.
At its best, a Klopp midfield includes players who can defend and attack, tackle, pass, and shoot. Mac Allister can do all of that, and his positional flexibility is a significant asset. He has shown that he can play as a 6, 8, or 10, making him a versatile addition to the team. Mac Allister ranks among the top 10 players in the Premier League for both through-balls and possession won in the middle and final thirds of the pitch.
One of the most critical aspects of Mac Allister’s game is his intensity and pressing. Liverpool’s identity is built around intensity, and Klopp regards counter-pressing as perhaps the most vital metric of them all. Mac Allister registered 328 counter-presses for Brighton this past season, more than any Liverpool midfielder, and his total of 70 Premier League tackles was higher than any player in a Liverpool shirt. Mac Allister’s impressive defensive numbers were all part of a mentality shift, and his desire to win the ball back could prove crucial to Liverpool’s success.
Compared to Klopp’s title-winning team, this Liverpool is allowing more passes per defensive action and winning the ball back further from the opposition goal. The team’s intensity has been lost, and Klopp found a late-season work-around by moving Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield in a hybrid role. However, Mac Allister’s arrival could provide a more stable solution. He could thrive in the half-space in that left channel and be a driving force to recapture the intensity of old.
In conclusion, the acquisition of Alexis Mac Allister could be a significant moment for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. He has the breadth of skills and positional flexibility to be an ideal fit for the team’s demands. His intensity and pressing could prove crucial in recapturing Liverpool’s identity and success. Klopp has found a late-season work-around, but Mac Allister’s arrival could provide a more stable solution and help Liverpool get back to winning ways.