Paul Merson doesn’t seem fully convinced that one of Liverpool’s summer signings will be an instant hit at Anfield.
The Reds secured the services of Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for £35m in early June (BBC Sport) off the back of a memorable year in which he won the World Cup and helped the Seagulls to qualify for Europe for the first time.
However, writing in his latest column for Sportskeeda, the Sky Sports pundit is unsure whether the 24-year-old will need time to settle into Jurgen Klopp’s revamped midfield.
Merson said: “I’m not sure about Alexis Mac Allister at Liverpool – he’s going to be one to watch. With Henderson and Firmino gone, their new midfield will take some time to settle and click.”
The former Arsenal man’s point about the Reds’ midfield is understandable, considering the level of upheaval in that department over the summer, but they could hardly have acquired a safer bet than Mac Allister.
It’s only been seven months since the £150,000-per-week maestro (Capology) helped Argentina to World Cup glory, starting all but one of their matches in that tournament triumph (Transfermarkt), so his ability to thrive at a high level can’t be questioned.
Also, having played 98 times in total in the Premier League and scored 10 top-flight goals last season (Transfermarkt), he’s proven that he can excel in this most challenging of divisions, while at 24 he’s in the sweet spot of having plenty of experience while also being yet to hit his peak.
It may be from a minimal sample size, but Mac Allister has already shown some very promising signs in pre-season of being able to integrate seamlessly into Klopp’s Liverpool side.
No transfer is a guaranteed sure-fire deal, but the Argentine seems about as close to it as the Reds could get, which makes Merson’s uncertainty over the 24-year-old’s fortunes at Anfield seem baffling.