Alexis Mac Allister faces his toughest task yet as Liverpool's holding midfielder in trip to Arsenal... having not expected to be playing the No 6 role after joining from Brighton, the World Cup winner is THRIVING

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  • Mac Allister faces his toughest task yet as Liverpool's holding midfield player 
  • He didn't expect to be playing in that position when he joined from Brighton
  • Rasmus Hojlund has no help up front! Even at Man United it's a hard sell to get someone in to help him - Listen to the It's All Kicking Off Transfer Week podcast 

Alexis Mac Allister faces his toughest task yet as Liverpool's holding midfield player admitting he didn't expect to be playing in that position when he joined the club from Brighton.

The Argentine won the World Cup in 2022 as a progressive midfielder but has been deployed in the Jordan Henderson role by Jurgen Klopp after they failed to land Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia in the summer.

The 25-year-old says he's enjoying the role even though it was unexpected. A trip to Arsenal on Sunday is Liverpool's biggest challenge in their bid to win a second Premier League for the departing Klopp.

Mac Allister did play in the 1-1 draw at The Etihad earlier this season but Manchester City were missing their playmaker Kevin De Bruyne through injury at the time.

'I like the way I am playing as a number six. I like that I'm helping my team-mates, and if they need any protection,' said Mac Allister, who says he's overcome a bang on the knee in Thursday's win against Chelsea and will be the deepest midfielder again with Wataru Endo having gone to the Asian Cup with Japan.

Alexis Mac Allister faces his toughest task yet as Liverpool's holding midfield player

Alexis Mac Allister faces his toughest task yet as Liverpool's holding midfield player

Alexis Mac Allister faces his toughest task yet as Liverpool's holding midfield player

He didn't expect to be playing in that position when he joined the club from Brighton

He didn't expect to be playing in that position when he joined the club from Brighton

The Argentine won the World Cup in 2022 as a progressive midfielder but has been deployed in the Jordan Henderson role by Jurgen Klopp after they failed to land Moises Caicedo

The Argentine won the World Cup in 2022 as a progressive midfielder but has been deployed in the Jordan Henderson role by Jurgen Klopp after they failed to land Moises Caicedo

'In the position I am playing now, it's more about the defensive things. But at that same time I'm able to get on the ball a lot, and I really like it.

'I know that at the beginning the fans were talking a lot about my position in the team, but I always said it was a position I really like and I think I can do it very well.

'I didn't really expect the position when I first came here. It was clearly not the idea but things changed.

'At the beginning of the season, we didn't have a proper number six so I had to do the job. Jurgen likes it! So I try to do my best and it's all about helping the team.

'It's quite different because as a normal number eight you need to be able to carry the ball more and use it more further forward, stuff like that.

'Playing deeper, it's maybe a little bit easier in some respects because you get more space and more time when you're on the ball. But it's about understanding the game, and all my team-mates help me a lot. They make it easier for me.'

It will be Mac Allister's job to keep an extra eye on Arsenal's danger-man Martin Odegaard and also build Liverpool's attacks if he receives the ball off his defenders.

Liverpool will go seven points clear at the top of the table if they win at The Emirates and are also in the running in three cup competitions.

Mac Allister did play in the 1-1 draw at The Etihad earlier this season but Manchester City were missing their playmaker Kevin De Bruyne through injury at the time

Mac Allister did play in the 1-1 draw at The Etihad earlier this season but Manchester City were missing their playmaker Kevin De Bruyne through injury at the time

'We know the potential of this team. We are showing it, and we just need to keep going,' added Mac Allister.

'If we keep playing like we are and did against Chelsea, then we can achieve something this season. Confidence is very high at the moment. When you beat a team like Chelsea 4-1, it's going to be.

'But we expect a very hard game at Arsenal, as it was in the FA Cup (which Liverpool won 2-0). It was a very tough game, they have very good players, they know what they want to do and have a clear idea of what they need to do.'

Klopp's shock announcement that he is leaving Anfield at the end of the season has so far inspired the players to give him a good send-off.

'The manager saying he is leaving has given us a greater incentive, yes,' explained Mac Allister. 'I don't know if that was his idea when he made the announcement but it's definitely become an incentive.

'We all know what Jurgen means to this club and the fans, and we want the best for him. We really understand and respect his decision and now we want to do out best to give him a very good season before he leaves.'

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