It feels like a long time since the question was on everyone’s lips whether Liverpool could win an unprecedented quadruple.
This season, the agenda seems set to determine which midfielders will be signed this summer after a miserable season in which prospects for the Champions League are slim at best.
Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson have all suffered performance losses this season. while players like James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are on the verge of leaving as the Reds look to bolster their options.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been grappling with the ideal midfield signings since they took all their eggs from the Jude Bellingham basket.
They could sign as many as three midfielders this summer, but as things stand, Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister is the only player to stand out.
Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister looks set to be Liverpool’s main target in midfield this summer
The Brighton star has had a fantastic season for club and country, winning the World Cup with Argentina in December
Of all the Liverpool midfield rumours, Mac Allister seems to be the one that best suits Klopp’s style of play.
The 24-year-old has had a fantastic season for the Seagulls as they battle to qualify for Europe, while also starting six of seven games for Argentina in the World Cup – including the final.
His 99th-minute winner from the penalty spot against Manchester United will only add to the cheers among Liverpool fans, who are jumping on the Mac Allister bandwagon after failing to sign Bellingham.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reported Thursday that the Reds have presented their project and financial proposal to the midfielder and that talks are progressing – although no agreement has yet been reached.
He could cost as much as £70m – a hefty fee for the Reds – although much cheaper than what it would have cost to bring Bellingham to Anfield.
Mac Allister is a versatile midfielder who primarily plays as a central midfielder, but has also proven his ability to play mid-park in both deeper and more advanced positions.
It is clear how important he has been to Brighton’s success when you see that he has played 95 per cent of all minutes available for the Seagulls this season.
On the other hand, the importance of Henderson and Fabinho to Liverpool is not what it once was to Klopp – most likely due to their weak form.
Henderson has played only 65% of the minutes when available and Fabinho 79%.
Jordan Henderson’s form has slipped this season, while Thiago has rarely been available due to injuries – making just 18 Premier League appearances so far this season
Mac Allister’s stats this season show that he is an all-around player with high numbers of both defensive and offensive stats across the board.
Mac Allister’s numbers seem to show he’s more rounded than Henderson (left) and Thiago (right)
Thiago played 92% of the minutes when he was available, and although he looked to be Liverpool’s strongest midfielder, he made just 18 Premier League appearances this season.
If Liverpool return to the top of the table, they need their star players who are fit, fresh and in shape, something that hasn’t happened this season. And with Thiago, Henderson and Fabinho all in their thirties or approaching their thirties, it is clear that a refresh with younger talent is needed.
It has been suggested in recent seasons that Liverpool have been missing a player like cult hero Georginio Wijnaldum when the Dutchman was in his prime at Anfield – an energetic attacking midfielder by trade who can play a deeper role when called up.
Comparisons can certainly be made between the pair, and if Mac Allister could guarantee the same amount of success Wijnaldum helped deliver in the red shirt, Klopp would immediately shake his hand.
The Brighton star of all rumors in Liverpool’s midfield feels most like a Klopp asset. Someone who has the physical capabilities to bring boundless energy to midfield and help create the intense, high-pressing style that Klopp enjoys so much from the dugout.
Of all his stats this season, one that will make Liverpool supporters jump out of their seats the most is his impressive tally of goals.
Mac Allister offers more offensive plays per 90 minutes, as well as defensive duels, successful dribbles and shots (Mac Allister in pink and Henderson’s stats in blue)
Mac Allister (in pink) offers more progressive runs, shots, key passes and attack options than Thiago (blue) – though the Spaniard dominates other areas of this chart
He has scored nine goals in the Premier League this season. The last time a Liverpool midfielder came close to that number was Adam Lallana with eight league goals in the 2016/17 season.
Stat gurus Delphlyx show that Mac Allister has superior numbers in some key defensive and offensive stats compared to both Jordan Henderson and Thiago – the likely two players he would most challenge for a starting position.
Against Henderson he provides more offensive actions including shots per game, while he also wins more defensive duels and has more successful dribbles. The Liverpool captain is to his name, has a big advantage in terms of interceptions won per game, key passes and progressive passes.
Compared to Thiago, the Spaniard dominates the defensive stats, although Mac Allister again provides more offensive plays per game, as well as higher numbers in terms of key passes, progressive runs and shots.
His comparison to Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham is perhaps the most interesting of them all, as Delphlyx says there’s an 87% comparison score between the two players – suggesting he’s more like the England star as a player than Henderson or Thiago .
Liverpool are looking for other midfielders after failing to sign Jude Bellingham
Mac Allister’s stats this season in the Premier League compared to Bellingham in the Bundesliga
|Premier League 2022-23||Alexis MacAllister||Curtis Jones||Fabinho||Harvey Elliott||Jordan Henderson||Thiago Alcantara|
|Chances created per 90||1.3||1.2||0.6||1.3||1.2||1.2|
|Total shots per 90||2.8||1||0.6||1.7||1.1||0.7|
|Fit per 90||55.9||59.2||61.5||52.8||67.7||77.9|
|Tackles per 90||2.2||2.9||2.1||1.3||1.4||3.1|
|Interceptions per 90||0.8||0.4||1.2||0.8||1||1.5|
|Possession Won per 90||7.2||4.2||6.3||6.7||7.2||8|
|Dueling per 90||10.3||12.3||8.2||9.3||5.2||13.1|
|Total carries per 90||12.1||16||10.9||13.7||13.9||19.6|
Their stats also suggest that Mac Allister is a more versatile player than Thiago or Henderson.
Mac Allister has high marks in terms of pressing and attacking duels, progressive runs, successful smart passes and expected goals.
Unlike the Argentinian star, Henderson has some low numbers on his record when it comes to loose ball and offensive duels won, expected goals and his ball recovery is slightly less than the 24-year-old.
Thiago has low numbers in terms of successful key passes, expected goals and assists, press duels and successful smart passes.
In terms of stats per 90 minutes, Mac Allister creates more chances and has more shots on target.
Liverpool could face fierce competition for Mac Allister’s signature over the summer term
However, he averages fewer passes, tackles, interceptions, duels, total possessions and possessions won per – though to Mac Allister’s credit, Thiago has played more than 1,000 minutes than the Argentina star, with 11 fewer appearances.
Despite Liverpool’s strong interest, it would come as no surprise to see them face competition from other Premier League sides or top European clubs abroad this season.
Liverpool left Bellingham as they needed a bigger squad this summer rather than a big money addition.
With talks that the Reds could sign three midfielders this summer, the Reds will be hoping Mac Allister fits their budget, and allows them to sign further reinforcements to leave Liverpool in a stronger position for next season.