Alexis Mac Allister is confident that Facundo Buonanotte can go all the way in his career after receiving his first senior Argentina call-up.
The 18-year-old has previously played for his country’s under-20s, but Alexis believes his Albion and now Argentina teammate has what it takes to make the step up.
“Facundo played with my brother in Argentina for Rosario Central, so I spoke with my brother and he told me that he is an amazing guy and a really good player,” Mac Allister said. “I am really excited for him. I told him that he is in the right place to keep growing his career, he’s very happy to be here at Brighton and now to a part of the Argentina squad.
“I spoke with the Argentina coaching staff when they asked me about him. I said that he’s a very exciting player and once he gets used to the league he will become a top player.
“I think it will be amazing for him and the other young players, they have to enjoy it. It’s not easy to understand how fantastic it is when you’re 18 to have the chance to train with players like Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, who have won everything.
“They have to train well and enjoy it. Enjoy the moment, learn from them and have the same mentality as them.”
Buonanotte isn’t our only young South American in the Albion squad. Julio Enciso joined us last summer and Mac Allister wants both youngsters to understand that the going can get tough in the pursuit of a regular Premier League place.
“We know that we’ve got young players in the team who we have to help to understand that it’s not easy, you have to keep working. But step by step they will become so important for this club.
“I know when you’re in Argentina or Paraguay and everyone talks about you then you come to England and maybe you’re on the bench every week and you think ‘I want to go back home and play every week’.
“But that’s not the case with our young players, they understand. They are training really well and their time will come.”
Argentina are playing their first games since they won the World Cup in December, as they take on Panama on Friday, before facing Curacao next Tuesday.