It was in the Brazilian city of Curitiba around this time last year that Alexis Mac Allister announced himself to the Boca Juniors faithful. A stinging long range effort in the 83rd minute of his debut handing the Buenos Aires giants an invaluable 1-0 win over Athletico Paranaense in the Copa Libertadores round of 16.
No one needs reminding that a lot has happened since.
Fierce rivals River Plate would eventually put an end to Boca and Mac Allister’s Libertadores hopes at the semi-final stage, the 21-year-old would bid farewell to La Bombonera in December, travel to Colombia for the pre-Olympic tournament with Argentina and link up with his Brighton team-mates in 2020 for the tail-end of the Premier League season.
All that has happened but it’s taken a lot longer than expected.
Top flight survival was secured with relative comfort yet it’s fair to say that even after the coronavirus-extended season, Brighton have not yet seen the type of performances that established Mac Allister as one of Argentina’s most important under-20 internationals.
Four goals in six games over January and February that saw the Albiceleste book their spot at the 2020 (now 2021) Olympics rightfully had many on the south coast perhaps expecting a little more.
“From next season I’m going to be much better, more adapted.”
— GOLAZO (@golazoargentino) July 31, 2020