Former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has already made a baffled comment to Lionel Messi about Alexis Mac Allister, comparing him to a Real Madrid great.
If Liverpool wanted a key figure for Alexis Mac Allister, then they need look no further than one of their former players in Adam Lallana.
Lallana played for the Reds between 2014 and 2020 before signing on a free transfer to Brighton when his contract expired.
Mac Allister broke into the first team in the closing months of the 2019-20 season, just before the Englishman arrived, but was there to see him establish himself as one of the Seagulls’ star players over the next two seasons.
And in an interview with Graham Hunter in January, Lallana revealed his admiration for Mac Allister.
He recalled that during the World Cup the midfielder worked with the player of the tournament winner Lionel Messi.
And he says Mac Allister’s best quality is not his athleticism but his intelligence, similar to Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić.
“It was so special watching him during the World Cup, not playing to begin with, then him getting used and then proving himself and playing so well that there’s no way this guy doesn’t play,” he said, via Empire of the Kop. “Then at the end, to see Messi looking for him. Like, Messi was looking for him to link, to play.
“Alexis’ role was almost to mirror where Messi was. When Messi was deep, he’d take higher positions. When Messi was high, he’d drop. That just shows how much he understands.
“OK, he’s not the quickest or the strongest, but it doesn’t matter, because up here he’s like Modrić. He’s so smart. He knows that the football is faster than anyone or anything. Alexis is of that ilk.”
Reacting to Lallana’s observations,
Liverpool.com says: That’s a huge compliment from Lallana. One of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Modrić won the Ballon d’Or in 2018 after helping Real Madrid win the Champions League and Croatia reach the World Cup final.
Moreover, Modrić has reached the FIFPro World XI six times, including five in a row between 2015 and 2019, and won 29 major awards.
Mac Allister has already won the biggest trophy there is in football, but will now look to build his cabinet at club level, which currently only consists of the 2019/20 Primera División (with Boca Juniors).
He has all the qualities to establish himself at Anfield as one of the best all-round players in the world under the tutelage of an all-time great manager, Jürgen Klopp.
‘I’m comfortable in my skin again’ – Liverpool star Van Dijk speaks about ‘shock’ inconsistency
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says it was “a shock” for him to be so inconsistent this season and feels “comfortable in my skin again”.
The Reds had a poor season in the Premier League but some brilliant late form saw them just miss out on a Champions League place.
Van Dijk was one of number of players who came in for criticism over the course of the season but their late run of form has given Liverpool fans hope for next season.
Speaking to NOS in the Netherlands, Van Dijk said: “I have had a turbulent season and I am happy that the last three months went well. I am comfortable in my skin again and am constant.
“That’s also what I was used to in the last five years. It was a shock that it was not constant enough as a team this year.
“You can only come out of it by dealing with it, inside and outside the pitch. I think I was able to do that well, with help from my wife and people at the club. I’m happy with that.
“To give an example, against United we won 7-0, but then the next game at Bournemouth you lose 1-0. That’s just very frustrating. Then you look for answers and your form.
“It went too much with ups and downs, but that’s also part of an athlete’s life. You cannot perform at your absolute best every game.”
There have been concerns that Liverpool might suffer in the transfer market after they failed to qualify for the Champions League but Van Dijk has eased those worries.
In an interview late last month, Liverpool defender Van Dijk said: “Pre-season will be massive. I’m very excited for next season. I think that feeling came a couple of months ago when we turned the page.
“Obviously there’s still a lot to work on but the good thing in this case is that we have the whole pre-season to work on this and that’s definitely the plan.
“The noises I’m hearing, it’s going to be a very intense pre-season with a lot of physical work but also a lot of tactical work trying to get ready for a tough season.
“Players are leaving, hopefully players come in and will be ready for the start of pre-season.
“Everybody knows we’ve been going through a little bit of a transition and, if I’m a player on the rise and I have options to go to the next step and Liverpool is knocking on my door, then I would be very interested.
“I don’t think it’s going to change much but, if someone wants to play Champions League no matter what then that’s their ambition.”