Ray Houghton has suggested that Liverpool could be getting more out of Alexis Mac Allister by pushing him up the pitch.
The Argentine playmaker arrived at Anfield this summer in a £35m move and has since been utilised as a No.6 in Jurgen Klopp’s reloaded midfield.
“The likes of Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister have fitted in and Alexis will be even better when he pushes a bit further up the pitch,” the former Red spoke on BBC Radio Merseyside (via BBC Sport). “I watched him at Brighton and I liked him a bit further up, being the creator. He’s got great awareness and great vision, plus he can score goals. He’s sitting back and playing a bit deeper at the moment, which the manager has asked for, but I like the dynamic of the midfield.”
The Reds have had a far from poor record whilst the 24-year-old has been in that role, winning seven league games, drawing three and losing one.
The great conundrum of 2023/24…
The Argentine’s sheer class on the ball does, on paper, seem to be a little wasted in a deeper-lying role.
Mac Allister contributes heavily to xG (95th percentile for non-penalty xG) when given the opportunity, whilst also more than chipping in with his fair share of shot-creating actions (87th percentile), according to FBref.
That said, his ability to progress the ball is undervalued from the No.6 position, even his recovery pace at times lets him down.
Nonetheless, it’s a trade-off Klopp seems more than happy about at the moment.