New Liverpool signing Alexis Mac Allister has officially arrived today, and with the ten shirt vacant the Argentine star will continue to wear the number he took on at Brighton, one that carries more weight than possibly any other in football.
Particularly for a player from Argentina, the country with two of the game’s three most iconic number tens in Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, the chance to wear the number—and maybe even add to its legend—can be a hard one to resist.
It’s also the number that Mac Allister wore at Brighton, where he often played as the most advanced man in midfield and provided direct box support. For Liverpool, though, the more box-to-box role of a midfield eight is his expected role.
For Liverpool, there is perhaps also more room to make the shirt his own—even if there’s obviously quite a lot to live up to in the club’s most recent history, with Sadio Mané having been the last player to wear the ten for Jürgen Klopp’s Reds.
Before Mané, Coutinho wore the ten, though his manner of departure and that he chose to exclude himself from the club’s most successful spell in the Premier League era remain a significant mark against the diminutive Brazilian playmaker.
Before Coutinho, the shirt was worn by Joe Cole, Andriy Voronin, Luis Garcia, and Michael Owen, with fan favourite Garcia likely the bright spot for many before we get back to another legendary Liverpool number ten with John Barnes.