Who should sign Alexis Mac Allister?
Brighton & Hove Albion have themselves a World Cup winner, folks!
Alexis Mac Allister will return to the south coast feeling like a rockstar. He may well end up slapping Roberto De Zerbi’s backside and tickling the Italian’s little beard upon his return given the confidence he’ll undoubtedly exude ahead of the Seagulls’ festive schedule. He can do what he wants.
Mac Allister’s introduction into Argentina’s starting XI was one of several tactical changes made by Lionel Scaloni in Qatar which lifted La Albiceleste to their first World Cup glory since 1986. The Brighton midfielder was nothing short of superb in Qatar and he produced a stellar performance in the final. That showing alone would’ve undoubtedly piqued the interests of Europe’s elite and added a few extra million onto Mac Allister’s transfer value.
Watch on YouTube as Harry Symeou, Scott Saunders, Grizz Khan and special guest Kieron Dyer review Argentina’s epic win over France on penalties. Subscribe to the channel here!
The Brighton man is one of several players who should earn a big move off the back of his World Cup showcase, but a January departure isn’t inevitable. He could move on next summer.
Several clubs have already been linked with the diminutive midfielder and here are a few that’d be smart to pursue Mac Allister in 2023.
Inter’s midfield is pretty impressive with Marcelo Brozovic dominating at the base and Nicolo Barella marauding up and down the right half-space. Hakan Calhanoglu has complemented this tandem well since he crossed the Milanese divide, but Mac Allister would be an excellent systematic fit for Simone Inzaghi too.
The Argentine has evolved from a crafty playmaker into a dogged box-to-box midfielder in the space of a few weeks. His work in tight spaces and in aiding his side’s build-up has been honed by both Graham Potter and De Zerbi, while his Argentinian ‘grinta’ manifested in Qatar.
Mac Allister’s a resolute footballer with an impressive technical repertoire and he’d fit right into Inter’s midfield three.
The Brighton star’s work with La Albiceleste would suggest he’s well-suited to performing in a well-balanced midfield three.
Both Rodrigo De Paul and Mac Allister looked like archetypal Diego Simeone footballers at the World Cup. De Paul responded remarkably well following a woeful start to the tournament and he joined forces with Mac Allister to create a counter-pressing machine in the middle of the park.
Simeone has already got his hands on De Paul, but the Argentine hasn’t exactly shone in the Spanish capital.
Many will project Mac Allister to endure a similar fate should Atletico display an interest in another Argentinian midfielder, but the Brighton man possesses the skill set and vigour to thrive in Simeone’s set-up.
Central midfield probably isn’t at the top of Tottenham’s transfer priorities in 2023, but Antonio Conte is desperate to bolster his squad and he might be keen on signing the World Cup hero should the opportunity arise.
Conte is blessed with several competent #8s, but some fans might view Mac Allister as a talent that could alleviate some of the creative burden off of Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski.
The Argentine’s competence in the double pivot is questionable, however, and Conte has primarily utilised a 3-4-3 since arriving in north London. The Italian has switched to a 3-5-2 from time to time, though, and Mac Allister would suit the left-sided #8 role in this set-up.
Granit Xhaka’s resurgence as an advanced #8 has masked some depth issues within Arsenal’s midfield this season.
The club opted not to sign a midfielder (outside of the creative Fabio Vieira) in the summer as a result of Xhaka’s early season form and the Swiss midfielder has since evolved into one of the Premier League’s leading midfielders.
Nevertheless, depth in midfield areas wouldn’t go amiss if the Gunners are to retain their title bid during the second half of the season.
Mac Allister is a great fit for Xhaka’s current role in Mikel Arteta’s three-man midfield. The Argentine is very press-resistant, a competent passer and capable of having an influence in the final third.
Manchester United will be linked with a long list of stars that shone in Qatar, and Mac Allister is destined to be one of those names.
The Red Devils have to bolster their midfield in 2023, and Mac Allister is an interesting profile for Erik ten Hag to consider. Christian Eriksen is not a long-term solution, while upgrades on Scott McTominay and Fred are required if United are to improve under the Dutch boss.
Mac Allister will slot seamlessly into Ten Hag’s set-up and immediately improve United’s technical quality in midfield.
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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