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Alexis in the Middle

Liverpool’s midfield maestro was missed on the weekend.

Sheffield United v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Liverpool’s fixture list is about to go into overdrive so along with the table fans will also be keeping an eye on the names posted on the injured list. At the moment, the long-term absentees feels pretty static with Joel Matip being the most recent addition to Thiago and Andrew Robertson. On the short term list, though, there is one notable name that we still don’t have a sense on the timeline for a return: Alexis Mac Allister.

The central midfielder has been a revelation and one of the most consistent starters for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Part of the reason has to do with the fact of the holes in Liverpool’s midfield, Mac Allister didn’t seem to be the most obvious answer. A midfielder that looked better suited to being a box-to-box or even an attacker, no one thought that Mac Allister would have to spend more than a spot start or two at the 6. At least, not if things went well in terms of recruitment plans.

But Liverpool began the season seemingly intent with playing Alexis in that deep-lying spot and has quickly become a mainstay in the system. Blending capable defense with metronomic passing, the Argentinean has played this role to perfection. And with Trent Alexander-Arnold pulling into midfield, it’s became an incisive double-pivot when Liverpool are in possession.

That passing with intent, though, was missed on the weekend. With Manchester United playing as many people behind the ball as possible and sticking everyone so low as to essentially place the backline into the goal with Onana, it felt like the kind of game that Mac Allister’s ability to unlock a few levels of players with a single pass would have been most useful.

At the moment there still is no firm timetable for his return, but a name that all Reds would welcome being on the teamsheet come the weekend is Alexis. Here’s hoping he can make it back in time. It is the season for gifts and miracles after all.

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