Klopp told he’s making Liverpool summer signing look ‘lifeless’ as same player names Reds stars he feels are strongest

Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Liverpool, September 2023

Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai applaud Liverpool fans

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been urged to reconsider the best use of summer signing Alexis Mac Allister with the player putting up another disjointed display and being subbed off at half-time in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Wolves.

The Merseysiders spent £145.2m on midfield reinforcements over the summer with World Cup winner Mac Allister the first of their arrivals in what appeared a bargain £35m switch from Brighton.

However, the 24-year-old has endured a difficult start to his career on Anfield. After seeing red on his home debut against Bournemouth – though the decision was later overturned after an appeal – Mac Allister was then hauled off the field at half-time at Molineux on Saturday with Liverpool fortunate to only be 1-0 down at half-time.

Klopp has since admitted that Mac Allister was at the heart of a really bad first 45 minutes for Liverpool, hinting the Argenine – who was already on a booking – was glad to come off.

Indeed, there are mitigating circumstances for Saturday’s tired display, for example. And having only arrived back in the UK early Friday morning after playing in a high-altitude match for Argentina against Bolivia, Klopp was probably wrong to throw Mac Allister in from the start against Gary O’Neil’s side.

Now Tony Cascarino feels there are other factors behind the Argentine’s poor showings for the Reds. And with Klopp working out how best to set up his new-look midfield, particularly with Dominik Szoboszlai quickly making an impact, the pundit feels Mac Allister is being asked to play out of position.

As such, it is felt that is to blame for Mac Allister’s poor start to his Liverpool career.

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Assessing his poor display at Molineux, Cascarino admits he has a lot of sympathy for the player, who he feels is being asked to play far too deep.

“Liverpool were awful in the first half, looked lacklustre,” Cascarino told talkSPORT.

“I mentioned earlier about jet lag, [Alexis] Mac Allister clearly was jet-lagged. I know he came back on Friday morning and he played for Argentina but he looked legless, lifeless, couldn’t get around the pitch.

“He got caught on the ball on many occasions in the first half.

“I wouldn’t want to play Mac Allister as deep. It’s a bit like Thiago [Alcantara].

“Thiago is a fabulous footballer and when he plays for Liverpool and moves the play, I don’t want him to be the protection in front of the back four.

“And when he sits really deep and just gets caught on the ball, a bit like Casemiro.

“Mac Allister, his strength isn’t tackling, so I think he’s left in that position just picking the ball up off the back four and starting to use it.

“I think that created its own problem. Mac Allister’s position wasn’t one that I want to see him in a Liverpool shirt too often.”

Mac Allister names Liverpool’s two strongest players

Mac Allister, however, is undoubtedly a good player, who thrived as a No 8 for Brighton last season, contributing towards 12 goals. For his country, he also plays as a No 8 too, with licence to get forward and join the attacks.

At Liverpool, however, Liverpool are blessed with multiple attacking stars, meaning Mac Allister is being asked to sit and protect the defence. Clearly the tactic is not working and starting to make him look like a bad signing, when he absolutely is not.

Mac Allister, meanwhile, has had no trouble naming the two Liverpool stars who he feels are among the strongest he has faced.

When asked by Goal to name the strongest Liverpool player, Mac Allister said: “I would say Mo [Salah], or [Kostas] Tsimikas.”

And when asked to expand on why he has chosen Salah, he added: “Oh, yes. He’s all day in the gym, so he is very strong.”

Salah himself has admitted he has two rooms in his house dedicated entirely to fitness.

He said last season: “Two rooms in our house are dedicated to different fitness machines, bodybuilding. At home I can also do cryotherapy, there is a hyperbaric chamber. I am constantly looking to improve my physical condition.

“It’s true that I like to say that my house looks like a hospital, [but] my wife doesn’t like that! [She] says that I spend more time with my machines than with her! When I indulge in a great restaurant in London, I prefer sushi. I eat pizza once a month at the most. I love hamburgers, but I hardly ever eat them because afterwards, I feel heavy!”

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