Liverpool’s New Signing Alexis Mac Allister and the Story Behind His Shirt Number
When Alexis Mac Allister joined the ranks at Liverpool FC, the talk of the town was not merely his transfer from Brighton, but his choice of squad number. Mac Allister, an international player for Argentina, opted for the number 10 shirt at Anfield, although the legendary number 8 was on offer – a fact that fans, the press and pundits couldn’t ignore.
The Weight of the Number 8
Liverpool’s number 8 shirt carries a legacy, thanks to the unforgettable Steven Gerrard. The former Reds captain spent a decade donning the number 8, making it a symbol of his leadership, talent, and connection to the club. After Gerrard’s departure in 2015, the shirt remained unclaimed until Naby Keita’s arrival in 2018. However, Keita’s exit this summer opened up the possibility of Mac Allister continuing the tradition.
Mac Allister sported the number 8 at Boca Juniors, back in his native Argentina. So, the decision to turn it down at Liverpool, choosing instead to stick with his Brighton number 10, sparked curiosity and speculation.
Mac Allister himself clarifies, as reported by 90min:
“The number 8 shirt is a very important number in that club because of Gerrard, so I hesitated a bit. I ended up choosing the 10, but 8 is a number that I like a lot and has a history at the club.”
The Legacy of Number 10
The number 10 shirt Mac Allister opted for also carries its own history at Liverpool FC. The jersey was previously graced by Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, with the latter leaving for Bayern Munich last summer, freeing up the number.
The Klopp Factor
A player’s decision to move is rarely just about money, contracts, or shirt numbers. One major influence in Mac Allister’s choice was Liverpool’s charismatic manager, Jurgen Klopp.
Mac Allister shared how Klopp’s vision and communication played an integral role in his decision. “After the season ended, I had the chance to talk to Klopp, and he told me about the club, the city and what he wanted,” he said. “The main thing was that from the first moment, they communicated with my family and me, they wanted me to be there.”
Shaping the Future at Anfield
Mac Allister’s ambitions align well with Klopp’s vision for Liverpool. The player’s desire for titles and his penchant for playing between the lines fit well into the manager’s evolving strategy.
“We all know that Klopp likes to play a lot on the counterattack, but in recent years there has been a change in his way of playing, he explained to me that he needed players to play between the lines and with a winning mentality.”
Mac Allister recognises Liverpool’s history and standing in football. He is ready to contribute to the club’s continued success, bolstered by a team of talented players and an exceptional coach. As Liverpool’s newest recruit and proud wearer of the number 10, Mac Allister is set to write his own story in the annals of this iconic club.