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Progress & potential return date for Liverpool midfielder


The absence of a holding midfielder in the mould of Declan Rice or Rodri was a significant factor in many people’s pre-season doubts regarding Liverpool’s title credentials.

Alexis Mac Allister, signed early in the summer window from Brighton, was initially seen in one of the box-to-box roles alongside fellow new arrival Dominik Szoboszlai. The Reds tried their utmost to capture a defensive midfielder before the window shut and eventually settled for Stuttgart stalwart Wataru Endo after Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo both favoured moves to Chelsea.

Endo, however, has struggled to succeed Fabinho at the base of Liverpool’s midfield and, instead, Mac Allister has evolved into Jurgen Klopp’s figure in a deeper position. The Argentine isn’t the ideal fit for the role, especially without the ball, but the World Cup winner has nonetheless enjoyed a bright start to his career at Anfield in the rather unfamiliar position.

His recent absence has been hard felt from a creative perspective after he was forced off in the 2-0 win over Sheffield United on 6 December. With the hectic festive period on the horizon, Klopp needs Mac Allister back in action, but when will that be?

Alexis Mac Allister

Jurgen Klopp admitted Mac Allister’s injury was worse than first thought / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Initial optimism regarding the seriousness of the injury quickly faded, and Klopp admitted before his side’s Europa League defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise in mid-December that Mac Allister’s injury was worse than expected.

“It’s a bit more tricky than we thought at the first moment,” the German said. “The other boy stepped on his knee and the stud went through pretty much the muscle onto the bone.

“Now, we have to wait until the bone is healed and until Macca can deal with the pain because it is pretty painful. Macca is actually a super-tough guy so we have probably to make sure just from an infection point of view nothing happens. That’s really important,” he added.

Klopp hopes to have Mac Allister available for the Christmas schedule, describing the midfielder’s injury as an issue that will be assessed “day by day”.

However, there are significant doubts that the Argentine won’t be available for Liverpool’s crucial Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday (per DaveOCKOP). That, of course, means he’ll miss Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against West Ham United. Mac Allister’s status for the Reds’ Boxing Day trip to Burnley is also uncertain.

The New Year’s Day fixture against Newcastle has been cited as a potential return date.

Date/Kick-off Time (GMT)

Fixture

Competition

20/12/23 / 20:00

Liverpool vs West Ham

Carabao Cup

23/12/23 / 17:30

Liverpool vs Arsenal

Premier League

26/12/23 / 17:30

Burnley vs Liverpool

Premier League

01/01/24 / 20:00

Liverpool vs Newcastle

Premier League

07/01/24 / 16:30

Arsenal vs Liverpool

FA Cup

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