Last week saw Liverpool confirm their first summer signing of the transfer window. Argentinian World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister signed for an undisclosed fee after an impressive season with Brighton and Hove Albion. The fee is reported to be around £35 million pounds as Jurgen Klopp seeks to revamp his squad for next season. Thanks to the stat guru’s at OPTA we have deep dived into Mac Allister’s stats from last season and compared them to Liverpool’s other midfielders to see what Mac Allister will be bringing to the Anfield table next season. The stats compared Mac Allister to Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Harvey Elliott, Thiago Alcantara and James Milner.
Games and Minutes Played
Alexis Mac Allister proved to be a crucial component in Brighton’s midfield, as evidenced by the impressive 3309 minutes he amassed in the league last season. Among all players, only Fabinho surpassed this figure with 3538 minutes played throughout the season. This not only highlights Mac Allister’s endurance during a gruelling football season but also underscores his significance to Roberto De Zerbi’s team.
The Liverpool midfielders exceeded Mac Allister when it came down to games played. Fabinho (49), Elliott (46), Henderson and Milner (43) amassed more games played. Whereas, Mac Allister played in 40 matches. Liverpool’s Champions League excursions would have led to most of their midfielders playing in more games across the season. However, Thiago only managed to play in 28 games last season.
Jurgen Klopp has never truly relied on or required midfielders to contribute with a large number of goals, given the prolific goal-scoring abilities of players such as Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane throughout the years. However, Mac Allister, although not in the mould of a Frank Lampard-like goal threat, outperformed his fellow midfielders at Anfield last season in terms of statistics. He boasted a goals per game contribution of 0.3, an expected goals figure of 0.4, an average of 2.5 shots per game, and 1 shot on target per game, surpassing the achievements of his Liverpool midfield counterparts.
Assists and chances created
Interestingly, when it comes down to assists, Mac Allister scores equally in comparison to the other Liverpool midfielders, with 0.1 assists across the course of the season. His expected assists also score equally to Henderson, Elliott, and Milner at 0.2, whereas Fabinho and Thiago scored at 0.1. Chances created is another important facet of a midfielder in Mac Allister’s mould. Only Harvey Elliott trumps Mac Allister with 1.5 chances created per game. Mac Allister created 1.4 chances per game. Elliott again tops the leaderboard in terms of chances created from open play, with 1.5 created per game. Henderson is a close second with 1.3, while Mac Allister finds himself third with 1.2 per game.
Mac Allister’s performance in key passing statistics also holds up well when compared to other Liverpool midfielders. Klopp will hope that these abilities can be translated to his time at Liverpool, and potentially even improved upon with better teammates. He trails behind Thiago (72.4), Henderson (64.9), Fabinho (60.3), and James Milner in terms of passes per game with 55, Mac Allister’s figure is still commendable. Similarly, his successful passes per game (48.1) may trail behind Thiago, Henderson, and Fabinho, but it demonstrates his capability as a competent passer.
However, Mac Allister finds more parity with the other midfielders in terms of passing accuracy. Among the six midfielders, he is joint second for passing accuracy at 87.20%. He ranks second in passing accuracy in the opposition’s half at 83.80% and holds the top spot for passing accuracy in the final third at 78.50%. These statistics indicate that Mac Allister is generally a proficient passer of the ball, making him a valuable addition to the Liverpool midfield.
The Argentinian World Cup winner also excels in the defensive aspect of the game, an area in which Liverpool will be eager to improve in the upcoming season. Mac Allister impressively ranks third in duels per game with 10.6, showcasing his willingness to engage in physical battles on the pitch. Moreover, he secures the second spot in both duels won per game (6) and duels won percentage (56.70%), highlighting his effectiveness in winning these challenging encounters.
However, Mac Allister ranks fourth in terms of tackles per game (2) and tackles won per game (1.1). While he demonstrates competence in these defensive actions, there is still room for improvement in this aspect of his game.
Overall, Mac Allister’s defensive contributions show promise, and with further development, he can become an even stronger asset in bolstering Liverpool’s defensive capabilities.
Dribbling and ball carrying
It’s never been more important to have midfielders capable of dribbling and retaining possession through dribbling actions. Fortunately for Liverpool this is a facet of the game which Mac Allister scores well in. He is joint first for dribbles per game (2) and second for successful dribbles per game (1.3.) Furthermore, he ranks fourth for touches per game (71.1%) and carries per game (11.9). Lastly, the Argentine sits 1st for fouls won per game (1.8) and 5th for possessions lost per game (11.2) suggesting that he excels at retaining possession of the ball.
Overall, it is clear that Alexis Mac Allister will be a great addition to the Liverpool side due to his all round ability as a midfielder. He scores well in most of the data collected for a midfielder when compared to the five other Liverpool midfielders. He does especially well when it comes to scoring goals and firing shots, but also passes very accurately and dribbles very well. He also wins quite a lot of fouls. Among all players to have played 1,000+ mins in the 2022-23 Premier League, Alexis Mac Allister was the only player to average 2+ shots (2.68), 2+ tackles (2.18) and 50+ passes (56.2) per 90 minutes.