Liverpool want Alexis Mac Allister
Published3 weeks ago
It’s very likely that at least one Brighton midfielder will move to Anfield this summer. Liverpool have chosen world champion Alexis Mac Allister as one of their transfer targets – but a team-mate would actually fit much better into the Klopp system.
Watching Moises Caicedo against Arsenal on Sunday saw a player made for a top club and made for Jürgen Klopp’s team. The Ecuadorian, who featured exceptionally at right-back, excelled in Brighton’s 3-0 win, ending the Gunners’ Premier League hopes.
“A technician and a destroyer,” was the headline telegraph. Caicedo’s blend of technique, physicality and tactical prowess makes the 21-year-old one of the brightest prospects in Europe. Liverpool in particular urgently needs this reinforcement for their midfield.
Liverpool transfers – Moises Caicedo: The all-round package
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Caicedo is its versatility. Although he is primarily considered a defensive player, he is just as good with the ball as he is off it.
This season, for example, he is among the top five midfielders in the Premier League (with at least 900 minutes playing time) in terms of passes and tackles won. His passing accuracy is the second best among midfielders after Manchester City’s Rodri. He also ranks in the top 10 in the league for interceptions, recaptures, tackles and passes into the last third.
“There are many players who are very good with the ball but not so good off the ball, defensively,” said Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi. “Others are top in defence, but there are some problems with the ball. I don’t see anything in Caicedo that isn’t at the top level.”
Liverpool transfers – The perfect back-up for Alexander-Arnold
What’s exciting is that Brighton recently used the Ecuadorian as a right-back – so he can play to his strengths in one-on-ones and his good structure-up play.
This is likely to impress Liverpool the most. Because the Reds have been looking for a defensively even better back-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold for a long time.
Having a midfielder like Caicedo who is also comfortable at full-back would be ideal for Klopp.
And if the Trent experiment is to continue, it’s hard to imagine a better partner for him than Caicedo.
Liverpool transfers – Brighton duo likely to move?
It didn’t go unnoticed that De Zerbi named his two star midfielders after the Arsenal game when discussing potential summer sales. “For sure we will lose some players,” the Italian told Sky Sports. “Maybe Caicedo, maybe Mac Allister…”
Brighton are aware that departures are inevitable after the club’s best season. The club’s transfer model is clear and is based on reselling the best players for big bucks – both to reinvest in the club’s squad and infrastructure and to continue to attract talent with resale potential.
Brighton have already started gearing up for next season. Watford striker Joao Pedro has signed and James Milner will join on a free transfer. Mahmoud Dahoud from BVB should also come.
Julio Enciso, Evan Ferguson, Facundo Buonanotte and Jeremy Sarmiento, all under 20, have already been introduced to the first-team and 19-year-old Sweden international Yasin Ayari, who joined from AIK in January, is expected to play in the will be used next season.
Departures are therefore likely. Mac Allister and Caicedo are of course the showpieces, but Kaoru Mitoma and Pervis Estupinan have also attracted interest. Levi Colwill, meanwhile, will return to his home club Chelsea.
De Zerbi’s starting XI could look very different again in August.
Liverpool transfers: Arsenal and Manchester United regret
Considering the player he’s blossomed into, it’s unbelievable that Caicedo cost Brighton just €5m when he joined from Independiente del Valle in February 2021.
A little over two years later, the Seagulls will now be asking for significantly more. They rejected mega offers from Chelsea and Arsenal back in January, despite the player making it clear publicly that he wants to leave the club.
Caicedo has meanwhile signed a new contract with Brighton. Paul Barber, the club’s chief executive and vice-chairman, recently confirmed that there is no release clause in this deal. Interested clubs will therefore have to pay even more than the €87.5m offered by Arsenal at the time.
That will particularly annoy Manchester United who had the chance to bring Caicedo to Old Trafford in 2021.
Liverpool transfers: The obstacles
Liverpool have already turned down the transfer of Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham on cost grounds. And with Chelsea and Arsenal still keen on Caicedo, it’s unlikely they will embark on a mutual outbid.
Even if Mac Allister’s contract only has two years left, he would probably be easier and cheaper to get. Jürgen Klopp is said to have received feedback from his former player Adam Lallana that the world champion has a strong personality and is always motivated in training.
There have recently been reports of an agreement between Brighton and Liverpool for €87.5m for Mac Allister – but internal sources have denied the rumours.
Liverpool transfers: The midfield carousel in the Premier League
Of course, Mac Allister isn’t Liverpool’s only dream player. Chelsea’s Mason Mount is also high on the list, and talks have already been held with Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch. Interest in Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP is said to have been shelved. But Matheus Nunes (Wolves), Joao Palhinha (Fulham) and Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta) are still issues for the Reds.
But the competition never sleeps: in addition to Caicedo, Arsenal also have West Ham’s England international Declan Rice in their sights. Manchester United would like to replace Scott McTominay and/or Fred in the starting XI, while Manchester City would like to sell Kalvin Phillips and could give Ilkay Gundogan a free transfer.
A lot will also happen at Chelsea. Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, N’Golo Kanté, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic could go. Meanwhile, Newcastle, who will be represented internationally next season, are looking to strengthen their squad. The transfer summer 2023 promises something spectacular.
Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp probably want to bag their transfers as early as possible in order to have them with them in preparation.
Mac Allister is the player they want – but Caicedo is the one they really need.
Mac Allister and Caicedo: Statistics of the 2022/23 season
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