Alexis Mac Allister only had one person on his mind as he celebrated his first Premier League goal in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
“It was a beautiful day because in Argentina it was Mother's Day and I dedicated my goal to my mum. She is one of the most important people in my life – I love her and I miss her. I was so happy to dedicate that goal to her.
“My family live in La Pampa in Argentina and it is one of my favourite cities in the world. I am always with my family when I am there and family is one of the most important things to me. I always speak with them, and it’s difficult being apart. When I play, they always send me a message to ask how I got on.”
The Argentina international already has experience of rivalries having played in the Superclasico between Boca Juniors and River Plate in Buenos Aries.
“I am so lucky because it’s one of the most important derbies in the world but Sunday was very special because it was against our rivals Crystal Palace. I heard that it's an important match for the club when I arrived so I was happy to score my first goal in the Premier League and I was happy for the team. It was a hard match, but the team was so good and we deserved more.”
The 21-year-old says he is settling into life on the south coast as he aims to become an important member of Graham Potter's squad.
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“I live here with my girlfriend and we are enjoying the city and I am enjoying the club. I am working hard and I want to improve my English first and then I want to kick on, on the pitch.
“It was difficult when I came from Argentina in January. It's a different culture and the football is different.
“Then we had lockdown which was difficult to be honest because I couldn’t go out but I tried to improve because I knew when we came back I had to do well.
“But now it's different. The city is lovely and my girlfriend likes it a lot, so we are so happy. I feel that I am improving but the most important thing is the team.”
Getting to wear the number ten jersey is special for any Argentinian footballer but Mac Allister’s idol isn’t either of the legends to have worn the famous La Albiceleste shirt.
“I didn't see Maradona play so for me Messi is the best player in the history of the game and I am proud to have played alongside him [for Argentina]. But Riquelme is the one that I love to watch.
“I hope that Messi wears that number for ten more years and of course I would like to see him in the Premier League. All the best players are in the Premier League and Lionel is the best player in the world.”