Premier League • England

One new Liverpool midfielder ‘has to wake up’ as fellow signing enjoys ‘frightening’ fortunes

Liverpool midfielders Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai

Liverpool midfielders Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai

Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have endured contrasting fortunes since being introduced to the Liverpool midfield, one observer has claimed.

Mac Allister and Szoboszlai were the headline additions to Liverpool’s engine room during a summer rebuild of the position. They have both started all six of their Premier League matches so far this season, from which Jurgen Klopp’s side remain unbeaten.

However, there has been a noticeable difference in how the two newcomers have been performing, according to ex-Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor.

The former Aston Villa frontman believes Szoboszlai has ‘frightening’ qualities in the midfield, whereas Mac Allister needs to raise his game to the levels he has previously shown.

Agbonlahor told Football Insider: “I think Liverpool can definitely challenge Arsenal and Man City [for the Premier League title]. Their squad looks very good at the moment.

“Defensively, that’s the only question for me at the moment.

Szoboszlai has been one of the signings of the summer. I can’t believe how quick he is for a central midfielder, it’s frightening.

“He’s very good technically, very high energy.

“Mac Allister has to wake up. He’s not showing the standard of performance we saw in the World Cup.

“I think Liverpool have got to get [Virgil] Van Dijk and [Ibrahima] Konate up to speed again and get back to that defensive unit that people were afraid of a couple of years ago.

“They were frightening, teams were scared to attack them when they looked at the back four.”

Mac Allister adapting to new role at Liverpool

In fairness to Mac Allister, he has been operating in a slightly different role to the one he played in for Brighton and may have expected to continue in at his new club.

Since the sale of Fabinho to Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League, the only out-and-out defensive midfielder Liverpool have replenished the ranks with is Endo. However, the former Stuttgart skipper does not seem quite up to speed yet, which has forced Mac Allister to oversee the holding role.

The Argentina international has still succeeded in providing one assist, whereas Szoboszlai has already scored his first Premier League goal.

With Ryan Gravenberch also freshly in the mix after arriving from Bayern Munich, Klopp will be working out what his best combination is in midfield over the coming months – and all the options at his disposal will have to maintain their high standards to keep earning their places.

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