Allan Rodrigues de Souza started for Brazil against England Under-19s last night, and interestingly – was the only Liverpool representative on the pitch, with the likes of Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Kent not used by Aidy Bothroyd.
Brazil won 2-1, with Allan playing over an hour before he was substitued, but it was the role he was deployed in that interests us most.
The teenager, who’s currently on loan at Hertha Berlin in search of a work permit, is regarded as an attacking midfielder – but sat at the base of Brazil’s midfield last night as a deep-lying playmaker.
With his passing ability, Allan dictated the game’s tempo and started attacks from deep – in a role similar to what Andrea Pirlo once did for Italy for example. It’s a deep position, but it’s not a defensive one – as it’s controlling – a kin to a quarterback in American Football.
For his loan clubs, Allan has been used further forward either in a natural central midfield position or at no.10, but he’s so diminutive, it might be hard for him to play here in the Premier League.
Liverpool currently do not possess a deep-lying playmaker, and in truth, we’ve not replaced Xabi Alonso since 2009. It’ll be hard for Allan to integrate himself as an attacking midfielder next term, what with the likes of Coutinho, Adam Lallana and the rest all vying for spots – so a classic controlling midfield role – collecting the ball from the centre-backs – may be the one for him.
Watch this space!