After the winter of Bellingham, it became the spring of Mac Allister. And, gloriously, Liverpool got their man before the summer set in properly and before the season is even over.
There are loads of reasons for the club to be satisfied. The Argentinian came cheap, he has Premier League experience and he’s won a World Cup. Bellingham has none of these attributes. But it’s not exactly strategy, is it?
They didn’t buy a midfielder 12 months ago because they were waiting for the right man. Was Mac Allister even on Liverpool’s radar back then?
No one should be complaining. The 24-year-old is obviously talented and was impressive for Brighton. Yet it’s hardly the “4D chess” that the data-driven believers have sometimes suggested the recruitment department are engaging in.
Mac Allister is adaptable and can perform in a number of roles. The word from the south coast is that he could slot in across the midfield. Let’s hope that the revamped central area will be designed to suit his skillset.
One of the disappointments about Thiago is that for all the 32-year-old’s effort and contribution, it feels that the team haven’t made the most of his passing ability. It’s credit to Thiago that he was willing to subvert the best part of his game to help the collective.
Jurgen Klopp needs to find a way of making sure Mac Allister is able to show his best qualities at Anfield (one cynic said to me, “It’s simple, sign Moises Caicedo”). The reality is that if the tactics are going to be similar to the final third of last season, with TAA stepping into midfield at times (or even going back to the wing-back approach) it will be more difficult for Mac Allister to do what he did best at Brighton and for Argentina.
With Bellingham, it would have been obvious what to do: build the team around him. The way forward is less clear for Klopp now. Much will depend on who else arrives during the transfer window.
Mac Allister is a great start to the summer but he may not be the player who makes the top four a certainty in the coming campaign. There’s still plenty of work to do to make this squad competitive.
Liverpool’s latest recruit was quite happy at Brighton and might have remained at the club if not for his dad. Carlos Mac Allister is a former player who has dabbled in politics. He’s a sharp one. His message to Alexis was simple: You’ve had some fun playing with your mates at Brighton but now it’s time to move on and make some real money.
Anfield better live up to Mac Allister Senior’s expectations as well as his son’s.
There are many things that boggle the mind about the plank who wore the ’97 not enough’ shirt at Wembley at last week’s Cup Final. The most brain-bursting bit for me is those who defended it by claiming it was about points totals and not winning the league.
First insult us and then insult our intelligence. Despicable.
The only good thing about the whole situation is that most of the Manchester United fans who saw the shirt were appalled. Many pointed him out to stewards and police.
Football turns people into dickheads even quicker than drink. There’s a line you can’t cross, though, and most United supporters recognised it.
It struck me earlier this week that two of the best days of my footballing life were Liverpool winning an FA Cup final derby and the Champions League victory in Istanbul. Those two matches were 19 years apart. Manchester City fans have been given the chance to see something similar in the course of eight days.
They will probably do the Treble. No one should discount Inter but the difference in resources is so vast that a win for the three-times European Champions could be justifiably seen as a case of giantkilling by the Italian side.
The Treble was always an elusive dream. We came close in 1977 only for United to beat us in the FA Cup final. United went on to do what was generally thought to be impossible in 1999.
City may well rack up Trebles on a regular basis. The club has been built to do that on the foundations of dodgy spending.
When the improbable becomes routine, the game loses something. City are killing competition. As I’ve said before, Klopp’s title win that interrupted their Premier League domination was a greater feat than it’s been given credit for.
Melwood is back in the club’s hands. That’s good. Selling it in the first place was one of the most stupid moves of the FSG era. Liverpool have made two fine buys this week. Let’s hope it’s the start of a productive summer.