The Liverpool star beat Rice and just proved Klopp was right by ending a 61-match wait

Liverpool star insists he is “improving” in a key area, and the numbers suggest he is right, with only Virgil van Dijk ahead of him in the Reds’ ranks.

Midfielder Alexis Mac Allister beats Arsenal’s Declan Rice in an area Given that he is primarily a number eight, there are inevitably weaknesses in Alexis Mac Allister’s play at the base of Liverpool’s midfield.

Part of this may be physical: only four players in the Premier League have committed more fouls than Mac Allister so far, and there have been times when he has had to drag opponents down as an initial push of pace leaves him behind.

But one key area where he has really excelled so far is ball interception. He is 14th in the league with 12, second behind Virgil van Dijk (13) at Liverpool and seventh among midfielders.

By combining tackles and interceptions, Mac Allister rises to eighth place overall (34), above one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, and indeed the world, Arsenal’s Declan Rice (31).

The Argentinian struggled for the most part in his return to former club Brighton on Sunday, making an error which led to the Seagulls’ opener, but one notable positive was his six interceptions.

According to’s Andrew Beasley, it looks like we’re going back to the Reds’ 2-0 win over Leicester in February. The last time one of Jürgen Klopp’s players delivered such a volume in a Premier League contract.

That’s 61 games and 607 days ago.We normally think of interceptions as a means of breaking up play and stopping opponents’ attacks, and Mac Allister did that here too, but in reality they were more important as a means of getting Liverpool’s press going.

In his best years, number six, predecessor Fabinho, was one of the best. He knew exactly where to position himself to avoid the opponents’ way out as they tried to play, thus maintaining Liverpool’s dominance.And there were clear shadows of the Brazilian at the Amex when Mac Allister collected a pass from Lewis Dunk near the halfway line and passed the ball to Dominik Szoboszlai, launching the move that led to Mohamed Salah’s equaliser. 

 In a way he had redeemed himself for his previous mistake.Sign up to our EXCLUSIVE newsletter!If you liked this article, you’ll love our newsletter. 

 Every of the  week we send exclusive bonus content, only to people who have signed up to our mailing list!Subscribers to our newsletter receive a report from one of Liverpool FC’s best writers Monday to Friday, straight to your inbox – and all for free.

Wherever you are in the world – US, UK or elsewhere – you won’t want to miss it. Half of his interceptions in the match came in Brighton’s half, continuing the theme of aggressive yet intelligent positioning.

The 24-year-old is clearly imperfect as a midfielder, but moments like these justify his claim that he is continually improving.“I like [the role],” he told LFCTV after the match.

“I think I’ve improved a lot defensively over the last few years and I think this is a job I can do well.” Klopp may feel vindicated after labeling Mac Allister an “all-rounder” following the completion of his $45m (£35m/€40m) transfer in the summer.

“Obviously he’s someone who can play in different positions in midfield and is an all-rounder, I would say,” he told “He is calm and collected and is someone with the right game intelligence.

”Above all, it was that playing intelligence that was on display as he ended a 20-month wait at Liverpool this weekend, and which will prove so invaluable as he seeks to reach top form at Anfield.

For Mac Allister, one of the key ingredients to thriving in Klopp’s midfield is already present. The claim that he’s not suited to the current role seems a little weaker knowing that he’s ahead of Rice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *