Alexis Mac Allister has acknowledged the difficulties of combining footballing duties for club and country, saying that it is “never easy”.
Jurgen Klopp faced raised eyebrows as he included Mac Allister in Liverpool’s starting XI against Wolves, a decision that seemed questionable given the midfielder’s recent demanding international schedule.
The midfielder, who had just returned from a trip to South America for fixtures against Ecuador and Bolivia, found himself straight back in action for Liverpool at Molineux. However, this move came despite his limited training time and the use of breathing apparatus due to the high altitude in Bolivia.
The Argentinian looked off the pace in the first half, and contributed to his team going into the break trailing 1-0 following Hwang Hee-chan’s strike. He also received a booking for a lazy pull on Matheus Cunha.
Klopp made a crucial halftime substitution, bringing on Luis Diaz for Mac Allister, and Liverpool went on to secure a 3-1 victory.
In an Instagram post after the game, Mac Allister acknowledged the challenge, saying, “It’s never easy but extremely important to win after the international break. Nice to be back.”
The scheduling of a 12.30 pm kickoff on Liverpool’s return from the international break added to the challenges. Mac Allister, along with other South American players, had minimal time for team training, having only one session before the journey to Wolverhampton.
Klopp had hinted pre-match that he might need his South American players as substitutes, acknowledging the tight turnaround. The manager admitted post-match that Mac Allister was “rather relieved” to be substituted, indicating an acknowledgment of the mistake in the selection.
The decision to start Mac Allister over Wataru Endo, who was on the bench, raised questions, especially considering the Japanese midfielder’s easier travel schedule during the international break. Klopp, however, seems hesitant to place trust in his £16 million signing.