Premier League • England

Klopp delight as top Liverpool star bats off positional concern with ‘super comfortable’ response

Alexis Mac Allister, Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

Alexis Mac Allister, Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold warm up for Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be delighted after hearing what Alexis Mac Allister had to say about his new role at Anfield, as the 24-year-old looked to end criticism surrounding his eventful start to the campaign.

Mac Allister excelled as a No 10 at Brighton, scoring goals and creating a host of chances for those around him. And when he joined Liverpool over the summer, it was expected that he would partake in a similar role under Klopp.

But after the exits of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to the Saudi Pro League, Klopp was forced into using Mac Allister as his new No 6, while fellow summer arrival Wataru Endo got up to speed with the English game.

While Mac Allister is a brilliant midfielder, he has struggled in this new position as he is not quite as defensively aware as his predecessor, Fabinho. The Argentina international has also found discipline problematic, as he was sent off – somewhat harshly – against Bournemouth, while also picking up yellow cards against Chelsea, Wolves and Tottenham in the league.

Mac Allister’s failure to give the Liverpool defence comprehensive protection has led to calls for Klopp to use him further up the pitch and start Endo in the No 6 position instead.

But during Argentina’s 1-0 win against Paraguay on Friday, Mac Allister was asked to perform a similar job to his Liverpool role by manager Lionel Scaloni.

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The former Boca Juniors ace impressed, with Argentine outlet El Grafico labelling his performance as ‘stand out’ and praising his ability to battle opposition players.

After the victory, Mac Allister was asked about the role Scaloni wanted him to play. And his response will leave Klopp feeling vindicated.

Alexis Mac Allister breaks silence on Liverpool role

“I played more or less like I do at the club, it’s a new position but I feel very comfortable,” he said.

“Scaloni asks me to manage the balance of the team, to take care of the relays and to take care of myself when I leave.”

Mac Allister is expected to feature when Argentina face Peru in their next CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

Liverpool, meanwhile, will play rivals Everton at Anfield on Saturday October 21 following the conclusion of the international break. After that, the Reds will come up against French outfit Toulouse in the Europa League on Thursday October 26.

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