Speaking as part of a new Warner Bros. Discovery series, World at their Feet, Alexis Mac Allister has revealed that he suffered and cried as he tried to adapt to the Premier League after his “dream” move to Brighton.
Mac Allister moved to the Premier League from Argentinos Juniors in 2019 on a four-and-a-half-year deal. He was then loaned back to the Argentine Primera Division, first to former club Argentinos Juniors and then Boca Juniors.
He finally made his Brighton debut on March 7, 2020 but he would not establish himself as a regular until the 2021-22 season, and Mac Allister told Eurosport that he struggled to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
He said that he “suffered and cried” – adding that he knew, though, that he would be able to succeed in the Premier League.
“The first year was very difficult for me,” said Mac Allister.
“I think it was a year of many changes to be able to fulfil the dream and move to a Premier League team [but] it was not as easy as I had imagined.
“When I got here I realised, physically perhaps, that I was not at the level that the league needed and that the team needed me to be.
“At times I also suffered and cried, and I missed my family and my friends, but I never gave up and I knew that I had the ability to be able to play here.”
Mac Allister’s father was also a professional footballer who played alongside Diego Maradona, and having represented Argentina at senior level, Alexis has featured alongside Lionel Messi.
His two brothers are also professional footballers – Kevin and Francis – and all three came through at Argentinos Juniors, a club that has produced players of the calibre of Maradona and Juan Roman Riquelme.
Mac Allister has said that the club helped mould them, not only as footballers, but also as people.
“Argentinos Juniors is our home, it is the place we grew up. It is the place we trained as people and as footballers,” added Mac Allister.
“I can name many players: [Diego] Maradona went through Argentinos Juniors, [Juan Roman] Riquelme, [Esteban] Cambiasso and [Lucas] Biglia. Many, many players that have been recognised at European level have come from Argentinos Juniors.”
Mac Allister hopes to be named in Argentina’s squad for the upcoming World Cup. The South American side have been drawn in Group C alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.