EPL

De Zerbi hopes Mac Allister stays with Brighton: 'Changing team could be a problem for him'

By Sports Desk January 02, 2023

Alexis Mac Allister has been warned against a January move by Brighton and Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi.

Mac Allister won praise for a series of energetic performances for Argentina in Qatar, starting six of La Albiceleste's seven matches as they won the World Cup for a third time.

Although he signed a new three-year contract with Brighton in October, Mac Allister has been linked with some of Europe's biggest sides, with Juventus, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea credited with an interest in the 24-year-old.

On Monday, Mac Allister returned to Brighton for the first time since the tournament and told Sky Sports he was "in no rush" to move elsewhere. 

De Zerbi welcomed those comments as he insisted the AMEX Stadium was the best place for Mac Allister to continue his development.

"I spoke with him an hour ago about playing better. If he wants to stay, we're happy. It's better for him as well as for us," De Zerbi said as he previewed Tuesday's trip to Everton.

"In this moment, changing team could be a problem for him.

"We are happy for him. Now for us he's a very important player. It's better to play with him than to play without him."

Mac Allister scored twice as Brighton won 3-2 at Goodison Park in January last year, but De Zerbi will leave it late before deciding on his involvement this time around.

Asked whether Mac Allister was ready to start, De Zerbi said: "Mentally yes. Physically, I don't know. We'll decide [on Tuesday]."

Brighton fell to a 4-2 defeat in a thrilling contest against Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday, with De Zerbi left to lament a lack of luck.

"We are disappointed with the result. We played well," he said. "To get a good result against a big team you have to be a little lucky. We weren't lucky. 

"We had chances to open the game but Arsenal are a great team. We can lose the game, but we are disappointed with the way in which we lost the game, not only for the result, but for the way."

Related items

  • Netherlands 2-3 Austria: Sabitzer strike ensures group win in five-goal thriller Netherlands 2-3 Austria: Sabitzer strike ensures group win in five-goal thriller

    Marcel Sabitzer's stunning effort ensured Austria finished as winners of Euro 2024 Group D following an enthralling encounter against the Netherlands in Berlin. 

    Ronald Koeman's side twice came from behind thanks to goals from Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay, but the Austria captain had the final say on Tuesday.

    Austria opened the scoring in the sixth minute as Donyell Malen's attempt to cut out Alexander Prass' cross ended up in his own net. 

    Malen almost atoned for his earlier error but could only scuff his shot wide of Patrick Pentz's far post. 

    But it took the Oranje just 71 seconds to restore parity after the break as Xavi Simons laid the ball off for Gakpo to curl home his 11th international goal. 

    However, the Dutch joy was short-lived as Austria retook the lead 12 minutes later when Florian Grillitsch found Romano Schmid, who headed in, despite the best efforts of Stefan de Vrij on the line. 

    Depay's stunning effort levelled proceedings once more, with the goal given after a VAR check, with referee Ivan Kruzliak initially disallowing it for offside.

    But the decider came 10 minutes from time, with captain Sabitzer picked out by Christoph Baumgartner before firing the ball high into the Netherlands net, with the Dutch condemned to third place and a possible meeting with England.

    Data Debrief: Sabitzer marks record-equalling Austria appearance in style

    Sabitzer made his 10th major tournament (World Cup/Euros) appearance in Berlin, with the five previous players to reach 10 such appearances for Austria all doing so in the early 1980s.

    Austria have now scored their most goals at the Euros (six) and most in a major tournament (World Cup/Euros) since the 1978 World Cup (seven). 

  • France 1-1 Poland: Mbappe ends Euros drought but Lewandowski thwarts Les Bleus France 1-1 Poland: Mbappe ends Euros drought but Lewandowski thwarts Les Bleus

    Kylian Mbappe's first goal at the European Championships was in vain as France were held to a 1-1 draw with Poland in their final group game at Euro 2024.

    Mbappe curled home from the penalty spot in the 56th minute, but Robert Lewandowski, in possibly his final Euros game, hit back for Poland.

    Lewandowski's goal also came from 12 yards, with the Barcelona striker converting at the second attempt to earn Poland's only point of the tournament.

    France have finished second in Group D after Austria's win over the Netherlands in the other match, with Poland's fate already set.

    Playing for pride, Poland made a bright start to the game, with Piotr Zielinski's half-volley forcing Mike Maignan into a smart stop early on.

    Lukasz Skorupski was alert when called upon at the other end as he stuck out a foot to keep Theo Hernandez's effort before smothering Ousmane Dembele's strike 10 minutes later.

    Lewandowski, making his first start of the tournament, also came close but could only thump a powerful header wide of the near post.

    Mbappe had two glorious chances to break the deadlock just before half-time – his first flashed across the face of goal with help from a fingertip stop from Skorupski, who then made himself big to deny France's captain.

    The battle between Mbappe and the goalkeeper carried into the second half, as Skorupski got a strong hand to a curler.

    Yet Jakub Kiwior's clumsy challenge gave France the opening they needed when he clumsily brought Dembele down inside the box, and Mbappe made no mistake this time, sending Skorupski the wrong way.

    Lewandowski gave Les Bleus a scare shortly after, picking Jules Kounde's pocket before firing a pacy shot just wide of the near post.

    And Poland's talisman stepped up when Dayot Upamecano brought down Karol Swiderski, and though Maignan initially saved the VAR-awarded penalty, he came off his line early, and Lewandowski picked out the bottom-left corner on the second attempt.

    Mbappe finally on the scoresheet

    It was yet another game where France created a lot of chances but struggled to finish them off, or at least, that is how it looked in the first half.

    Mbappe finally ended his European Championships goal drought in the 56th minute, with what was his 23rd shot in the competition.

    Indeed, that was Mbappe's 13th goal at major tournaments for France, equalling Just Fontaine's record, with only Michel Platini (14) scoring more for Les Bleus. 

    Among European players since 2018, only Harry Kane (13) has scored as many goals as Mbappe, who France sorely missed in their goalless draw with the Netherlands last time out.

    Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann got his own slice of history as he made his 33rd appearance at major tournaments, the most by an outfield player for France, overtaking Lilian Thuram.

    Poland make their point

    It has been a tournament to forget for Poland, who exited Euro 2024 without earning a single win.

    Talisman Lewandowski was back in the fold after his thigh injury and had the most shots for Poland, and ensured they did not go home empty-handed. 

    The 35-year-old is the only player so far to have netted at the last four editions of the tournament, and is just the third player in history to score in four or more European Championships (along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric).

    He also salvaged some pride as Poland avoided losing all three group games at a major tournament for the first time in their history.

  • Marseille agree deal to appoint De Zerbi as new head coach Marseille agree deal to appoint De Zerbi as new head coach

    Marseille have announced they have agreed a deal in principle for Roberto De Zerbi to be their head coach.

    In a statement, Marseille said they were "working with all stakeholders to formalize the arrival of the Italian coach, as well as that of his staff, on the OM bench and prepare for his arrival in Marseille in the coming days."

    De Zerbi, whose shock departure from Brighton was announced the day before the end of the 2023-24 season, led the Seagulls to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League after taking over from Graham Potter in 2022, securing European football for the first time in their history.

    Brighton topped their Europa League group, beating Marseille in the process, but were knocked out by Roma in the round of 16 before slumping to an 11th-place finish in the league.

    The French side, meanwhile, went through three managers last season, with Jean-Louis Gasset overseeing the end of the campaign as Marseille finished eighth in Ligue 1, outside the European places.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.