Jurgen Klopp now has no choice but to start Alexis Mac Allister in defensive midfield for Liverpool against Chelsea.
That’s the view of former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson. Like a lot of Liverpool fans will have last night, Lawrenson watched on as Mac Allister played terrifically in a a new No.6 role for the Reds.
And speaking to LFCTV after the game, the pundit claimed that the Argentine is now the outstanding candidate to start at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“I can’t see anyone else doing that job,” admitted the 66-year-old. “He is clever and playing in that position more than anything is being in that position and holding that position. It’s different, but you look at the players we have got and I don’t see anyone else who can do it at the moment.”
Covering the game alongside Lawrenson, former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor echoed this point.
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“I’ve left here right now thinking we are going to see Mac Allister in that position for Chelsea,” he said. “That really stood out to me today.
“Yes, at times, we are going to see him play further forward but he looks the most obvious candidate to start in that position vs Chelsea.”
Mac Allister finds a new role
There have been a few excellent players for Liverpool in this pre-season schedule. The attacking quintet in particular have caught the eye with their goals and assists.
But perhaps more quietly, Mac Allister has been just as good.
The £35m signing has already played in a variety of different roles for his new team. It speaks to his technical quality and footballing brain that he has looked the part in all of them.
Obviously, he isn’t a long-term option at the base of Liverpool’s midfield. To stick the 24-year-old there consistently would be to somewhat dim his attacking qualities.
Nevertheless, without a natural for the position currently at the club, it’s nice to know that Mac Allister can fill in if and when needed.
For the moment, it looks like one of those occasions will be Sunday. Liverpool are still working on a deal to bring Romeo Lavia to Anfield, but there’s no chance the Belgian would start at Stamford Bridge, even if he’s signed before then.
Instead, Curtis Jones had looked like being the man in possession of the shirt. Unfortunately for Jones though, Mac Allister looks to have ripped that right off his back.