Alexis Mac Allister hopes to fulfil World Cup dream his father missed out on

The rise of Alexis Mac Allister with Brighton & Hove Albion is accelerating.

The Argentina international’s importance to the team has never been higher, with the World Cup in Qatar just a week away.

McAllister’s new contract, signed last month, runs until June 2025, with an optional one-year extension for the Premier League club, showing how the 23-year-old has become a key part of the Amex Stadium.

Brighton also had an option year in his previous deal, which expired next summer. As comfortable as the protection is, they are eager to address his long-term future.

Originally signed under Chris Hughton about four years ago, McAllister has become an increasingly valuable asset.

He played in 33 of 38 Premier League games last season, with Brighton finishing ninth under Graham Potter, their highest result in the top flight. Marc Cucurella (35 caps), Leandro Trossard and Joel Veltman (34 caps each) are the only outfield players who have made more appearances.

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McAllister’s growth has accelerated this season and he has now developed from a multi-tasking midfielder to a specialist.

McAllister has been working with Ecuador’s Moises Caicedo on a South American double since the summer’s sale of defensive back Yves Bisuma to Tottenham, before Porter arrived in September. Chelsea was under him before, along with his Italian successor Roberto De Zelbi.

He has started all 13 league games this season and has scored four goals, second only to Trossard (seven) and Pascal Gross (five).

De Zelby’s belief in McAllister is to accept possession from goalkeeper Robert Sanchez or a centre-back in tight areas to advance the game, which is reflected in his passing numbers and the few Premier League midfielders above him. influence in this category.

Most passes in midfield

player

team

Pass

Manchester City

1,107

Tottenham Hotspur

857

West Ham

849

Wolves

815

Leicester

796

Brighton

738

It’s been a progressive move since McAllister signed from the Argentine youth team for £8m ($9.3m) in the January 2019 transfer window on a direct loan back to the Buenos Aires club. Progressive process.

The second loan to Buenos Aires giants Boca Juniors was supposed to be during the 2019-20 season, but Brighton brought him back early during the January 2020 transfer window .

They were granted work permits and paid Boca around £500,000 in compensation to shorten the loan period, then another £175,000 after avoiding relegation in Porter’s first season in charge.

Mac Allister had a tough start in England. His arrival comes shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic brought Britain into months of lockdown as he struggled to establish himself.

“The first year at Brighton was not easy for me,” admits Mac Allister. “I didn’t play regularly and then the (Argentina) coach (Lionel Scaloni) decided not to draft me for a few games.

“Then I started playing here and I became a different player: a better player, a better person. At that moment I said to myself, I’m ready to play here and with the national team.

deeper

deeper

Argentina World Cup Squad Guide

“The first year here was very important for me and I realised I had to do more than what I am doing now. It’s not good but that’s what makes you a good player when you have setbacks, work hard Pick yourself up and train every day to be a better player.”

McAllister’s progress at Brighton has gone hand in hand with his growth as a regular in Scaloni’s Argentina squad this year.

It’s just a question of how much game time McAllister will get at the World Cup, as expected, he was named to the 26-man finals squad yesterday.

Midfielder Giovanni Lo Celso suffered a hamstring injury on loan at Spain’s Villarreal from Tottenham Hotspur that kept him out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which has improved McAllister’s presence opportunity of time.


Argentina hope McAllister can help them reach the World Cup in the Copa America they win in 2021 (Photo: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

He is the No. 6 replacement for Sevilla’s 34-year-old Papu Gomez.

Mac Allister is unafraid of the possibility, saying: “I grew up playing the 10, I played there for years, but I feel good at the 6.

“Position is not important to me. The most important thing is to try to help my teammates and help my team win games.”

Mac Allister will undo 38 years of family damage by heading to Qatar.

His father Carlos played the full 180 minutes with Diego Maradona in the November 1993 play-offs, helping Argentina beat Australia 2-1 on aggregate to qualify for the following year’s World Cup in the United States.

Carlos, who was not selected for the final by coach Alfio Basile, will be knocked out after Argentina lost the services of talisman Maradona in a drug scandal and were knocked out by Romania in the round of 16. Resign.

Mac Allister said: “They played against Australia in the play-offs. They won, he was in the starting line-up and then the manager decided not to draft him.

“It was tough for him. Just a week ago he was excluded from the World Cup. All he conveyed to me was the importance of being in the World Cup – how he felt at the time.

“He was very close to getting into the team, but he couldn’t, so he wanted me to do my best and then the most important thing was to enjoy it.”

McAllister’s appearance with national team talisman Lionel Messi was another talking point with his father.

The Brighton man said of the 35-year-old Messi, who is likely to have his last World Cup in Qatar, “He’s my idol. I always have this conversation with my dad.

“He played with Maradona, he likes Maradona, but for me Messi is the best player in the world.

“We know how important this World Cup is for him (Messi) and as a team we will do everything we can to lift that trophy. We know it could be his last game so we will do our best Try to win the game.”

deeper

deeper

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McAllister will welcome another Argentine in Brighton as the New Year arrives.

Attacking midfielder Facundo Buonanotte, 17, who is currently teammate of McAllister’s brother Francis at Rosario Central, has announced his signing in the January transfer window .

On Christmas Eve, McAllister turned 24 — six days after the final in Qatar.

It’s not out of the question that Brighton’s big improver will show off a World Cup winner’s medal to his compatriot Bona Notte when he arrives in England.

(Above: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)



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