Liverpool star beating Declan Rice and proved Jürgen Klopp right

One Liverpool star insists he’s ‘improving’ in a vital area, and the numbers suggest he’s correct, with only Virgil van Dijk ahead of him in the Reds‘ ranks.

Inevitably, given that he’s primarily a number eight, there are weaknesses to Alexis Mac Allister’s game at the base of the Liverpool midfield.

Some of those may be physical — only four players in the Premier League have committed more fouls than Mac Allister so far, and there have been times where he’s had to drag opponents down because he’s been left behind by an initial burst of pace.

But one important area where he’s actually excell up to this point is intercepting the ball. He ranks joint-14th in the league overall for this metric with 12, second only to Virgil van Dijk (13) at Liverpool, and seventh among midfielders.

If you combine tackles with interceptions, Mac Allister climbs to eighth place overall (34), above one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, and indeed the world, in Arsenal’s Declan Rice (31).

Who is better?

The Argentine largely struggled on his return to former club Brighton on Sunday, making an error that led to the Seagulls’ opener, but one standout positive was his match-high six interceptions.

According to’sAndrew Beasley,

It seems you have to go all the way back to the Reds’ 2-0 win over Leicester in February for the last time one of Jürgen Klopp’s players put up this kind of volume in a Premier League match. That’s 61 games and 607 days ago.

We typically think of interceptions as a means of breaking up play and halting opposition attacks,

Mac Allister did do that here,

But they were actually more significant as a means of making the Liverpool press work.

Above all else, it was that ‘game intelligence’

That was on show as he ended a 20-month Liverpool wait at the weekend,

That will prove to be so valuable as he looks to hit top form at Anfield.

For Mac Allister, one of the key ingredients to thrive in a Klopp midfield is already in place

He is not suitable for the current role look a little weaker in the knowledge

He is tracking ahead of Rice.

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