Jürgen Klopp has found his new Philippe Coutinho who left five Liverpool players beaten

By utilizing Phillipe Coutinho’s skill set, Alexis Mac Allister is prepared to take Thiago’s place at Liverpool, disproving the claims of his former teammate Adam Lallana.

Before bringing Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp faced off against him six times at Brighton. However, there is one moment from the 3-3 draw at Anfield last October that may have resonated with him more than most.

Moisés Caicedo threw a quick pass behind him as Brighton attempted to play its way through the Liverpool press.

Luis Dáz saw a chance to seize it, but the midfielder was able to stop him as he desperately sought to get a foot on the ball.

From there, before the Spaniard could intercede, he twisted and avoided Thiago before gliding effortlessly by Fabinho and Harvey Elliott. James Milner was going to become Mac Allister’s next victim now that they had crossed the midway point, but the shrewd veteran understood that all he needed to do was take him down to stop the charge. In one run, he had defeated four Liverpool players, and he still had one more to go.

This is possibly the best demonstration of Mac Allister’s dribbling skills. He placed sixth for his position in the Premier League last season with 42 successful dribbles, placing him in the 82nd percentile for successful take-ons per 90 minutes among central midfielders in the top five leagues during the past year.

Only Martin Degaard (49), James Maddison (46), Bruno Guimares (45), John McGinn (45), Matheus Nunes (44) of Wolves, and Martin Degaard (49), of Arsenal, defeated him.

It’s critical to put this number into perspective because Mac Allister might, in theory, just be making a lot of unsuccessful dribble attempts. Thankfully, though, he still ranks in the top 10 (ninth, at least 1,000 minutes, and 20 successful takedowns), despite having a little lower dribble percentage (66.7%).

Only Thiago (1.5 per 90 minutes) averaged more successful dribbles last season among Liverpool’s current midfielders. The Spaniard had an 84% success rate, the greatest of any midfielder in the Premier League, so Mac Allister still needs to get better to reach such heights.

There are also similarities to Philippe Coutinho, who set a record for dribbles per game in 2014–15, his final campaign as Liverpool’s starting center midfielder.

It mostly depends on his technical prowess and intelligence, as you might assume. He can maneuver the ball in confined spaces thanks to his close control, and he may outsmart his opponent by masking his genuine motive—to send them the wrong way. That’s not all, though.

Adam Lallana, a former teammate and ex-Liverpool midfielder, claimed that Mac Allister isn’t the fastest (via Graham Hunter), although the claim may be harsh given that Allister does possess a burst of acceleration that may be used to get away from opponents.

The 24-year-old is undoubtedly underappreciated as an athlete, possibly as a result of perceptions based on his little 5ft 9in physique. He can hold players off and use his body shrewdly, and he is deceptively strong.

It comes as no surprise that Mac Allister, who is once again in the 82nd percentile, was fouled 1.78 times per 90 minutes on average last season. The three Premier League midfielders that were up there for successful take-ons last season were Guimares (83), Maddison (79), and McGinn (66), all of whom were fouled the most.

Mac Allister’s opponents, like Milner, frequently turn to trip him up because he is so difficult to dislodge and so skilled with the ball in his hands.

For a number of reasons, Liverpool values this skill set. Due to his resistance to the press, Mac Allister can advance the ball up the field and, as we witnessed at Anfield, he can crack through defenses by piercing their defense.

It’s possible that Mac Allister may replace Thiago in the lineup for a significant portion of the upcoming season due to the latter’s poor fitness record. While those are large shoes to fill, Mac Allister has already proven to Liverpool that he has what it takes to be a worthy successor.

 

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