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In Focus: Mac Allister can deliver magic in the FA Cup
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Mitchell Fretton
Alexis Mac Allister can deliver success at Brighton
Alexis Mac Allister can deliver success at Brighton

Alexis Mac Allister returned to Brighton in December as a World Cup winner having impressed for Argentina in Qatar.

The 24-year-old has scored five times in the Premier League for the Seagulls this season and will be hoping to make the difference in the FA Cup fifth-round clash against Stoke tonight.

Roberto De Zerbi's men can book their place in the quarter-finals with a win over the Potters and they will need to be at their best despite facing lower-league opposition.

We turn the spotlight on the Seagulls star man ahead of the contest.

Making it happen

Mac Allister has already proven that he is a man for the big occasion by playing a key part in the build-up to Argentina's second goal in the final win over France.

His experience in Qatar will have benefits for his club career as there are not too many more daunting occasions than walking out to compete for football's biggest honour.

So a trip to Stoke should be a walk in the park for the 14-cap international but Mac Allister must be careful not to let complacency creep into his game. 

Alexis Mac Allister will be key in helping Brighton defeat Stoke tonight
Alexis Mac Allister will be key in helping Brighton defeat Stoke tonight

Tonight's opponents pose a completely different threat to that of the French national side and it is likely that the midfielder will have to rely on patience if Brighton are to breach the Championship outfit's defences.

The former Boca Juniors star has featured in both FA Cup matches for his club in 2022-23 and picked up two goals against Middlesbrough before digging in deep to see off Liverpool in the previous round.

Magic touch

Having spent just over four years on the South Coast, it is no surprise that Mac Allister is playing his best football at a club he is clearly settled at.

Despite featuring as a versatile weapon in the Seagulls' system, the No10 is putting up some impressive numbers in what is turning out to be his best season in England's first division.

Although he has only scored from five of his 42 efforts on goal in 2022-23, just 26 players have had more shots than the Argentina international.

As well as this, Mac Allister has completed 15 of his 21 attempted take-ons and averages 1.15 per 90, demonstrating his fearless nature on the pitch.

He also ranks in the top 30 Premier League stars for passing accuracy this term with 88.64% of his balls finding a team-mate.

There are certainly areas that can be improved on but if Mac Allister can continue performing at this level, then there is no reason why Brighton cannot cement themselves in the European places in the remaining months of the season.

Getting noticed

Alexis Mac Allister is not afraid to unleash a shot
Alexis Mac Allister is not afraid to unleash a shot

Mac Allister's ability makes him one of the most sought-after players by Brighton's Premier League rivals.

The versatile maestro has been linked with Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United, who can all offer European football, in recent weeks.

It is unclear what it would take to release him from his contract, which is set to run until 2025, however.

Brighton have conquered Chelsea, United and Liverpool this season despite having a significantly weaker squad than England's top guns.

There is a unity among De Zerbi's men that is not evident in Graham Potter or Jurgen Klopp's sides at the moment and Mac Allister is one of the driving forces behind Brighton's excellent campaign so far.

Whether it be breaking the lines with a pinpoint pass or beating his man with a delicate touch, the 5ft 7in playmaker would not look out of place in a top-six club.

A better human being

Alexis Mac Allister is a World Cup winner
Alexis Mac Allister is a World Cup winner

In the aftermath of the World Cup, Mac Allister has spoken about how success has changed him.

He believes that the glory and experience of Qatar have made him a better person and his life has not changed too much.

He said: "Being part of the Argentina squad in Qatar and fighting to get into the team, helped me to be a better player and a better human being. It taught me to help my team-mates.

"My life is the same boring life as always, I train, I go home, I sit on the sofa, I drink Mate [tea], I watch football. It's the same life.

"On the pitch, winning the World Cup has made me a more confident player. Even the opposition see you differently. It's been amazing.

"I have got a lot of confidence from winning the World Cup but if I don't play well for five games in a row in Brighton, my confidence will be lower again.

"I want to win titles but that's not the most important thing. The most important thing for me is to be on the pitch every weekend and I really enjoy it. I don't need to get motivated by other things."

Winning titles may be a stretch at his current club but Mac Allister has proven that he has what it takes to be worthy of a winner's medal.


Brighton & Hove AlbionAlexis Mac AllisterPremier LeagueFA Cup
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