Albion Analytics: Alexis Mac Allister

The Argentinian signed a contract extension this week to keep him at the Amex until 2025.

By Liam Tharme • 26 October 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
The quality of Albion's performance at Man City drew praise.

The announcement came a couple of days after his 50th Premier League start at Manchester City. At the Etihad he had the highest pass accuracy (95%) of any starting Brighton player, completing 40 of his 42 passes, with only Leandro Trossard (five) playing more progressive passes than Mac Allister (three).

The 23-year-old is thriving in a deeper role this season, tasked with playing alongside Moises Caicedo in a double pivot — this is considered the number 6 role in England but a number 5 in his native Argentina. Notably, over the past year, the Ecuadorian ranks inside the ten most statistically similar players to Mac Allister.

Only Leandro Trossard (60) has been involved in more unique open-play shot-ending sequences than Mac Allister (53). The Argentine has played a part in 48% of all such sequences for Brighton, primarily in the build-up phase.

Comparing his statistics per 90 minutes played to last season, this campaign Mac Allister is having more touches (69.1, was 57.7), playing more passes (58.5, was 45.2) and passing more accurately (87.6%, was 80.5%), partially down to playing safer passes. Naturally his shot-creating actions have dipped (2.1, was 3.4) as he operates further down the pitch.

Out of possession, he is making more tackles plus interceptions (4.6, was 3.3) and ball recoveries (9.3, was 6.3), reflecting his enhanced involvement in defensive duties centrally.

Sofascore’s algorithm only rates Pascal Gross as a higher performing player, on average, than Mac Allister this season for Brighton, underlining the consistent quality of his displays. Unsurprisingly they rate his best individual performance this season as the home game against Leicester.

That day he completed 37 of his 43 passes and had the second-most tackles plus interceptions (four) of any Brighton player. Of course, it was his distance ball-striking that once more caught the eye, hitting the target with three of his four shots and scoring twice — one penalty, one direct free-kick. He has scored five of his six penalties for Brighton.

Compared to Premier League midfielders so far this season, Mac Allister ranks inside the top 20% for (per 90 minutes) tackles plus interceptions and ball recoveries, but also touches, passes, pass accuracy and goals scored. He is just one goal away from his tally last season (five), which is also the most goals he has ever managed in a single league season (for Brighton in 2021-22 and Argentinos Juniors in 2018-19).

Mac Allister is one of very few footballers to be an Olympian — he featured in all three games for the Argentina under-23s at Tokyo last summer, having scored four and assisted once in five qualifying appearances for the tournament.

He will hope to go one step better this winter and play for the senior side at the Qatar World Cup. Argentina are unbeaten in the seven games where Mac Allister has played and go into the tournament on a 35-game unbeaten streak. He has been included in the pre-tournament extended squad.