Arsenal: North London side interest in Brighton’s Mac Allister

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Arsenal are reportedly interested in Brighton and Hove Albion star Alexis Mac Allister, according to South American journalist Cesar Luis Merlo.

What’s the latest on Arsenal’s Mac Allister interest?

As per his tweet, the Gunners, along with Liverpool and Manchester United all have significant interest in signing the Argentine.

Two of the three clubs have already begun negotiations for the midfielder, however, it is not clear which two that is.

The player’s father and agent are both in England at the moment as they monitor the situations surrounding a potential exit from the south coast.

“Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have specific interest in signing Alexis Mac Allister in the next transfer window. Two of those clubs are already negotiating for the Brighton footballer,” he tweeted. “His father and agent is in England monitoring the situation.”

What would Mac Allister bring to Arsenal?

The World Cup winner has been a key cog in Roberto De Zerbi’s side since the Italian took over from Graham Potter at Brighton.

Mac Allister, 24, has made 24 appearances during this Premier League campaign, where he has accrued an average match rating of 7.08 – the club’s third-highest, via WhoScored.

Despite players such as Kaoru Mitoma stealing the headlines with his impressive performances, Mac Allister has picked up admirers alike, as he was praised by his former coach Gabriel Di Noia, who said:

His desire to succeed has been fundamental.

“He has adapted to a league which, for me and almost everybody in football, is the best in the world.

“Talking to other players who have played in the league, as a South American the first year in England is always one of adaptation.”

It hasn’t taken him long for Mac Allister to adapt. The former Boca Juniors loanee has not only adapted to the Premier League, but he has adapted to play a more holding role than his usual No.10 role. 

Brighton & Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister scores their third goal from the penalty spot

This versatility and adaptation to a new role is something that Mikel Arteta will be keeping an eye on. It is no secret that the manager, who has signed Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus for the Gunners – both extremely versatile in attack – values this trait highly.

It is likely that the midfield machine, who is €42m-rated (£37m), as per Transfermarkt, will operate in a similar role to Granit Xhaka if he does sign for Arsenal. As the left-sided eight, the Swiss midfielder has the freedom to roam into the box, which we have seen Xhaka do so often this season. In fact, the 30-year-old has already scored more Premier League goals this season than he has in any other season.

This means that Mac Allister – who was once lauded as “unplayable” by reporter Roy Nemer – will be given similar freedom to explore in Arteta’s setup. As he is ranked within the top 5% for shots taken by players in the same position in Europe’s top five leagues by FBref, it is clear that he will enjoy operating this role.

Ultimately, acquiring the Argentine’s signature will be a challenge for both Arteta and sporting director Edu Gaspar, but if they can bring Mac Allister to the Emirates, the pursuit would have been a worthwhile one.

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