Explained: Why Alexis Mac Allister turned down Steven Gerrard’s old No.8 shirt at Liverpool to take No.10 instead

Steven Gerrard Alexis Mac Allister Sadio ManeGetty/GOAL
  • Argentine left Brighton for Anfield
  • New adventure for World Cup winner
  • Had a choice of jerseys to take on

WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentina international, who helped his country to World Cup glory at Qatar 2022, has completed a £35 million ($45m) transfer from Brighton to Anfield during the summer window. The 24-year-old midfielder was given a choice of jerseys upon his arrival on Merseyside - with Naby Keita vacating the iconic No.8, while 10 has been available since Sadio Mane departed for Bayern Munich in 2022.

WHAT THEY SAID: Mac Allister has told The Mirror of why he avoided following in Gerrard’s footsteps: “One day, I was talking to my dad when he asked me what number I would wear for Liverpool. I knew there were several numbers available - including 10 and 8. The number eight shirt is a very important number in that club because of Gerrard, so I hesitated a bit. I ended up choosing the 10, but eight is a number that I like a lot and has a history at the club.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Liverpool’s No.8 will forever be synonymous with former captain Gerrard, their No.10 has previously been donned by the likes of Michael Owen and Philippe Coutinho. Mac Allister added on his reasons for linking up with the Reds in a memorable few months for him: “After the season ended, I had the chance to talk to [Jurgen] Klopp and he told me about the club, the city and what he wanted. The main thing was that from the first moment, they communicated with my family and with me, they wanted me to be there. When I was able to speak with the coach, it was made even clearer. It's the small details that made me choose Liverpool. I feel that it is the right step in my career.”

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Alexis Mac Allister Liverpool 2023-24Getty Images

Alexis Mac Allister World Cup trophy Argentina 2022Getty

WHAT NEXT? Mac Allister spent four years on Brighton’s books, taking in 112 appearances while also nailing down a regular role in Argentina’s senior international squad.