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Football

The meteoric rise of Alexis Mac Allister

LIVERPOOL

Alexis Mac Allister has become a key player for Argentina and Liverpool. His former coach helps put the midfielder under the microscope.

  • Alexis Mac Allister has enjoyed a rapid ascent since 2019
  • The midfielder is a key player for Argentina and Liverpool
  • His former coach discusses the young Mac Allister

When Gustavo Alfaro was at the helm of Boca Juniors in 2019, his coaching staff measured individuals’ performances using an AI tool, which studied their values across three main criteria: tactical, technical and physical. They would then bring their findings together to create an overall evaluation. 

The tool, called K Sport, employed a traffic-light system, using colours to indicate the values of each player. When a value was displayed in green, it meant that the score was above average. Yellow showed that the player exhibited some good attributes and others which were in need of improvement. And, if it was red, it meant that the player had more areas to develop.

In the squad at that time was Brighton loanee Alexis Mac Allister who, after moving to England from Argentinos Juniors earlier in the year, was making quite an impression with the Black and Gold. Brighton requested a copy of Mac Allister’s K Sport evaluation and, incredibly, the spreadsheet was green across the board.

“Alexis’s case really stood out,” Alejandro Manograsso, then part of Alfaro’s staff, told FIFA. “He joined Boca when they were going through a difficult time, as it was shortly after the Copa Libertadores final loss against River [Plate] in 2018. “So for a player who hadn’t been brought through at Boca to put in that level of performance showed you what kind of a professional we had and how complete a player he is. Alexis’s spreadsheet really was all green.”

Life has moved at breakneck speed for Mac Allister since impressing at La Bombonera. He returned to Brighton in January 2020 and starred for the Seagulls, earning a place in Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina squad before playing a vital role in their FIFA World Cup™ triumph in Qatar.

Those performances for club and country earned the versatile midfielder a move to English powerhouses Liverpool, where he has continued his development into one of Europe’s most complete footballers. Now comfortably able to play almost any role in the middle of the park, Mac Allister is a different animal to his early days at Argentinos and Boca.

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