Jurgen Klopp appears to have hit upon an answer to Liverpool’s continued concerns in the defensive midfield position. Simply – don’t have one.
Alexis Mac Allister has started all bar one Premier League game this season as the number six, but even the Argentine would be the first to admit that isn’t his preferred role.
The summer signing, then, is having to learn on the job. And while this was his most impressive performance since arriving at Anfield, it also underlined why it is proving potentially restrictive.
Certainly, the vision and weight of pass that saw him invite Darwin Nunez to net Liverpool’s pivotal second goal is one of the reasons for the excitement that Mac Allister generated during his pre-season performances.
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Playing further upfield would make such contributions more regular. But needs must for Jurgen Klopp at present, with Wataru Endo – limited to just a few minutes here – and teenager Stefan Bajcetic not yet ready for consistent starts.
There are other answers – such as Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones combining to great effect as a double six in the second half at Wolves last weekend – but that again stymies the natural game of the duo.
Mac Allister, then, must continue for the foreseeable. Anfield, though, has now seen a glimpse of what they can expect in the long term.
Matip and Gomez answer call
Strange to say of a defensive duo who, going into this game, could boast 369 Liverpool appearances between them.
But that Joel Matip and Joe Gomez lined up on the right side of the Reds rearguard was undoubtedly of intrigue against a West HamRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk