London: Liverpool FC signed Argentine World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton on Thursday for a fee that could rise to a reported £55 million ($69 million).
The 24-year-old is the first piece in a midfield rebuild for Liverpool, who finished a disappointing fifth in the Premier League.
“It feels amazing,” said Mac Allister, who is understood to have signed a five-year deal at Anfield. “It’s a dream come true. It’s amazing to be here and I can’t wait to get started.
“I wanted to be in from the first day of pre-season, so it’s good that everything is done. I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates.
“It was a fantastic year for me — World Cup, what we achieved with Brighton — but now it’s time to think about Liverpool and try to be a better player and a better human being every day.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is seeking to bolster his midfield options after the departures of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The club were priced out of a move for England teenage star Jude Bellingham, who is set to join Real Madrid after the clubs agreed a fee of 103 million euros ($110 million).
Liverpool, who struggled last term after nearly completing an unprecedented quadruple in 2021/22, have been criticised for failing to reinforce their ageing midfield over recent transfer windows.
Klopp is excited about the arrival of Mac Allister, who reportedly cost an initial fee of £35 million.
Mac Allister will wear the number 10 shirt worn with distinction by past Liverpool stars Sadio Mane, John Barnes and Michael Owen.
“We are adding a very talented, very smart, very technically skilled boy to our squad and this is super news, really it is,” said the German.
“I do not think the football world needs me to say too much about Alexis’s qualities because they are already pretty well known.
“But it is clear that he is someone who can play in a number of positions in the midfield and is an all-rounder, I would say. He is calm and composed and someone with proper game intelligence.”
Mac Allister, who made 112 appearances for Brighton, has played 16 times for Argentina, including in the World Cup final victory against France in December.
“Since I won the World Cup, I said that I want to win more trophies and I think that this club will help me to do that,” he said.
“That’s the aim and when you are in a big club like this one you have to win trophies. So, that’s what I want.”