Arsenal must make a move for World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister in the January transfer window.
What’s been said?
That’s according to Emmanuel Petit, with the former Gunners star stating his belief in a recent interview (via the Evening Standard) that Mikel Arteta must do all he can to land the Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder this winter, as the Frenchman believes that the 23-year-old would make a “brilliant” addition to the Spaniard’s current options in the middle of the park.
Regarding the Argentina international, Petit said: “I know the links are there with [Youri] Tielemans at Leicester [City], who I think is a good player but I’m not sure he is what Arsenal need. I’m a big fan of two players from Brighton: Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo.
“Mac Allister, I said this last season before he won the World Cup, he is a guy that does everything in the midfield. He sets the tempo, carries the ball. Technically, he is very good. He scores goals.
“They would do everything that Arteta wants in midfield. Both of them are young and could form a partnership for years.
“Mac Allister has just won the World Cup. He won the Copa America last year. In terms of his experience and maturity, he played almost every single game at the World Cup and he played really well.
“He is at Brighton! What are Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City doing? Come on! He plays brilliant football.”
The 52-year-old’s claims come shortly after a report by Argentine publication AS, which suggested that both Arsenal and Atletico Madrid are set to test Brighton’s resolve for the midfielder by launching a move in the January transfer window.
Considering just how impressive Mac Allister has been for club and country so far this season, coupled with the fact that central midfield is one area of Arteta’s first-team squad that is currently lacking strength in depth, the argument that the 40-year-old simply must launch a move for the Argentine this winter is an extremely easy one to make.
Indeed, the £35m-rated talent was undoubtedly one of the breakout stars of the Qatar World Cup, scoring one goal, registering one assist and creating two big chances for his teammates over his six fixtures, in addition to taking an average of 1.2 shots, making 1.3 key passes and completing 0.7 dribbles – at a success rate of 67% – per game.
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The £50k-per-week midfielder also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.5 tackles, 0.5 interceptions and winning 5.2 duels – at a success rate of 54% – per match, as well as playing 0.8 long balls, 1.2 chipped passes and completing 39 total passes – at a success rate of 89% – per outing.
These returns saw the player who Ryan Adsett dubbed a “golden boy” and Paul Barber labelled “incredible” average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.05, ranking him as Lionel Scaloni’s fourth-best performer in the competition – playing a crucial role in Argentina going on to lift the trophy for the first time since 1986.
The 23-year-old has also highly impressed over his 14 Premier League appearances this season, having already scored five goals and created one big chance, in addition to taking an average of 1.9 shots, making 0.9 key passes and completing 0.6 dribbles per game.
The former AA Argentinos Juniors starlet has also made an average of 3.1 tackles – the joint ninth-most in the league – 1.4 interceptions and won 5.8 duels – at a success rate of 59% – per fixture, as well as enjoying an average of 72.9 touches, playing 2.2 long balls and completing 51.1 passes – at a success rate of 89% – per match.
These metrics have seen the midfielder who Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo dubbed “unreal” average an exceptional Sofascore match rating of 7.31, not only ranking him as Brighton’s best performer in the league but also as the tenth-best player in the top flight of English football as a whole.
As such, considering just how exciting a prospect Mac Allister quite clearly is, it would indeed appear an extremely wise move for Arteta to launch a bid for the 23-year-old in January, as the Argentine sensation would undoubtedly represent an incredible addition to the 40-year-old’s current options in the middle of the park.