Alexis Mac Allister is proud of the steps he has made since arriving at Albion from Argentina two years ago.
The 23-year-old endured a tough start to his time on the south coast. Shortly after his recall from loan at Boca Juniors in January 2020, Covid-19 hit.
Project Restart saw the midfielder intermittently feature in Graham Potter’s team, but since then Alexis is confident as to how much his game has improved.
He said, “There is a big difference in my game compared to the first year. I wasn’t good enough then, but now I feel really good. Being stronger is one of the most important things that I have changed since I have started playing in the Premier League. In the first year I didn’t have that strength.
“You have to play every three days here and you have to be prepared to play to your very best every time. When I first came here, I thought ‘I’ve played for Boca Juniors, one of the best teams in South America, I am ready’.
“But then I arrived, we had the Covid situation and I didn’t train for two or three months with my teammates. When we returned I realised I wasn’t at the level I needed to be. I had to work.
“It was disappointing for me that I wasn’t at that level but it’s something that has helped me to keep improving and working. I am proud because now I am playing and I feel like I am doing well.”
Mac Allister has been one of the first names on the Albion team sheet in the Premier League, starting the last six matches. He is preparing for Saturday’s trip to Watford having recovered from Covid.
In that run he netted twice in the 3-2 victory at Everton, as well as putting in the cross that Adam Webster headed home for Albion’s equaliser against Chelsea.
“I have felt really good the past few matches. The team has done really well, which is the biggest positive. I had the opportunity to play for the national team in the last couple of weeks, but because of Covid-19 it didn’t work out the way I wanted.
“I have found my goalscoring touch though, it was something I was looking to improve on. When I played in Argentina I would score and assist a lot more. I have scored a few times for Brighton now, it’s nice to get the confidence from that.
“I had a few games where I was on the bench and that’s not what I want, so I knew I had to keep working because I knew I would get my chance and when I did, I wanted to be ready. When that chance came along I thought I took it well.
“The message from the gaffer and my teammates was to keep my head down and work hard. It’s not just the 11 who start, the people on the bench are important too.”