The development of a Liverpool midfielder “destined for the top” according to Alexis Mac Allister
Referee Nestor Pitana would crack the same joke to try and pacify the Argentinos Juniors kid whenever he spotted Alexis Mac Allister racing in his direction to complain about a judgment.
Pitana, the official referee of the 2018 World Cup final, would comment, “You remind me of [Lionel] Messi.”
“Only for the haircut and the beard.” With laughter, Mac Allister would respond.
Mac Allister made his debut at age 17 in Argentina’s second division with Buenos Aires team Argentinos in October 2016. His quality may not be comparable to that of Lionel Messi’s — who is? — but it has been clear from the beginning.
The adaptable midfielder assisted in securing promotion later that year, setting off a meteoric ascent that saw him represent his childhood club in international competition and become the club’s second-largest selling ever when Brighton knocked with an offer of £8 million in early 2019.
However, fame didn’t come right once, and up until recently, he could still return home largely unseen.
Mac Allister, a reserved and unassuming man, claimed that when he visited La Pampa, the town of his home, about this time last year, just “a couple of people” approached him for a photo. This was before the World Cup.
However, 15,000 fans were there to welcome him back after he had assisted Argentina in winning the 2022 World Cup.
The 24-year-old’s life has undoubtedly altered, and it will undoubtedly continue to change now that he has joined Liverpool in a £55 million move.
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He was intended to succeed at the highest level.
Those who have been there since the beginning feel that by moving to Anfield, he is achieving his destiny.
General manager of the Argentinos Alejandro Roncoroni said to BBC Sport: “At the time [he joined Brighton], I told him – and he can confirm it – that I wouldn’t ask him for a Brighton jersey or anything else.”
“The only thing I asked for was an invitation to the day he made his Real Madrid or comparable team debut. Because he was destined to succeed at the highest level.
Four years later, the “never hides on the pitch” kid has made it to the top of the game and will now be crucial to Liverpool’s recovery.
Playing for Argentinos Juniors in 2019 is Alexis Mac Allister
In January 2019, Mac Allister signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with Brighton after playing for Argentinos Juniors.
Footballer by birth
Mac Allister, an Irish-born football player, was destined to play the game.
His uncle Patricio played for Estudiantes de La Plata, his father Carlos lined up alongside Diego Maradona for Argentina, and his brothers Francis and Kevin are currently players for Rosario Central and Argentinos, respectively. They even have Deportivo Mac Allister, their own team back home.
Even as a young child, the Reds’ new midfield guru assisted his father with the scouting reports he wrote for the Spanish team Osasuna.
It came as no surprise when, at the age of 12, he signed on with the Argentinos and immediately began marking waves for the squad renowned as the “world’s nursery,” which has given the globe players like Fernando Redondo, Juan Roman Riquelme, Esteban Cambiasso, Fabricio Coloccini, and, of course, Diego Maradona.
“I distinctly recall bringing my children to the club every Saturday to watch him play. He would always be noticed, the general manager Roncoroni stated.
Gabriel Heinze, a former international defender who Mac Allister credits with bringing out the best in him and teaching him the game, coached him on his first senior outing.
Get inside the box, inside the box!
He concluded the previous season with 12 goals in 40 games after helping Brighton win European football for the first time in their 122-year history.
His father Carlos would have been pleased because it was the most productive season of his career to date.
He would frequently shout for his son to “get into the box” from the stands during youth games. Although Mac Allister initially detested it, he now acknowledges that it has had an impact on his playing style.
He will bring new life to Liverpool’s midfield because of his versatility in playing defensive midfielder, functioning behind the forwards, and central midfield.
“A player with his technical ability can play in any position. He will always possess the traits of an attacking midfielder (number 10), but thanks to his intelligence and adaptability, he can perform any role that is required of him, according to Cristian Zermatten, one of his earliest coaches.
No matter where he plays, he will always play “in the style of a number 10” since that is ultimately how he feels about the game.
Now it will be up to Reds manager Jurgen Klopp to elevate Mac Allister, and Roncoroni is certain he is going to the best team for that.
They share the same colors as the place where he was born, he explained.