Alexis Mac Allister looked to show the “fatigue” of a gruelling season as he made his first appearance since joining Liverpool on Thursday.
It has been just over a week since Mac Allister completed his £35 million switch to Liverpool, and straight away he headed on duty with Argentina.
First up, that brought a friendly against Australia in China, and the 24-year-old started as part of Lionel Scaloni’s strong side.
Argentina took the lead within two minutes through Lionel Messi, while German Pezzella added another just after the hour mark to seal a 2-0 win.
It was a mixed outing for Mac Allister, who played 59 minutes before being replaced by Julian Alvarez as Scaloni looked to share the game time out.
According to newspaper Ole, rating the midfielder a seven out of 10, he played “almost like a false nine,” though still drilled to “withdraw in the defensive phase.”
“He demonstrated his ease in adapting to another role,” journalist Nico Berardo explained.
However, another Argentine outlet, TyC Sports, claimed Liverpool’s new No. 10 looked “fatigued” as they handed him a six out of 10.
“He arrived with a fatigue and added to the tremendous heat in Beijing there was not much room for the dynamics that Alexis usually brings,” Gaston Recondo argued.
“He had an early chance but afterwards he was always away from the goal.”
Meanwhile, GOAL‘s James Hunsley also gave Mac Allister a six out of 10: “[He] started brightly with some succinct passing and zippy movement, but tailed off.”
It should come as no surprise, really, given Mac Allister played 51 times over the course of the season – including six times at the World Cup – clocking 4,093 minutes on the pitch.
The increased demands of the international schedule present another issue for players in the modern era, with one more game still to play for Argentina.
Scaloni confirmed on Thursday that Messi would leave the squad prior to the clash away to Indonesia, along with Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi.
But there are no such precautions when it comes to players like Mac Allister, who will then take around three weeks off before reporting for pre-season with Liverpool.