Jurgen Klopp: We haven’t looked for Alexis Mac Allister’s best position yet

LFC Globe
6th October 2023

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits they have not had time to properly assess where -winner fits into their side.

The Argentina midfielder has started all seven of the club's fixtures since arriving from Brighton in a cut-price £35million deal, but has been deployed in the nominal holding role after the departures of and to Saudi Arabia left them short in that department.

Mac Allister has shown he is far more effective further forward in one of the attacking midfield positions, and while he has done a job for Klopp, it appears unlikely he is the long-term solution.

He was even substituted at half-time of the at , having flown back from Bolivia after the break after looking well off the pace.

Nevertheless Klopp is satisfied with what he has had from the 24-year-old so far.

“We didn't even look for his best position yet. We just use him,” he said.

“He is a fantastic player, I love everything about him: super-smart tactically and off the pitch as well, so that is really nice to work with.

“If we as a team defend well, he can play definitely the number six. Did I know that before? I had a guess but I was not sure because I did not know exactly how all the other boys would do defending.

“Because we defend more compact and better than in our bad phases last year, we have small spaces and then it is really good because he sees the situations really well.

“We have a really good footballer and it is really cool but best position? He is too young for me to know it but he is a midfielder, I can tell you that.

“He is a midfielder and I am happy about having him.”

Mac Allister is one-third of a midfield rebuild this summer with Dominik Szobozslai the other mainstay after his £60m arrival from .

Forward , another new Wataru Endo – the one genuine number six in the squad – and have filled the other space in midfield in Premier League matches this season.

However, the gradual emergence of , a deadline-day arrival from Bayern Munich, points towards the 21-year-old staking a claim to be the third man alongside Mac Allister and Szobozslai, who are destined to be locked in for the long term.

The Dutchman scored his first goal in the 2-0 victory over Union Saint Gilloise as his integration into the side – he has started three non-Premier League games but has only been a substitute at weekends – continues to grow apace.

For a relative youngster, Gravenberch has a certain presence on the pitch and Klopp expects him to grow further with more experience.

“Raw power – I am not sure a lot of people would have described him in the past like that,” said the manager.

“He is technically incredibly good. The first touch is insane, the speed is top class, really good shooter.

“Yes he came late and yes we play slightly different and yes he needs time to adapt, and that is what we can give him, thank God.

“He is completely happy with that and in the groove; he realises in each training sessions he is treated completely like others, if he starts or not.

“He gets even more information in specific moments. He can see what the other boys do in similar positions, he can watch it, he learns, he is a smart boy, everything goes in the right direction and that is really nice to see.

“He has had assists in the other games and now he has his first goal. Now it is good, long may it continue, he is very important for us.”

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