Jürgen Klopp’s departure will inspire Liverpool to end the season on a high to honour their manager, says Alexis Mac Allister. The German will end his nine-year Anfield reign in the summer, aiming to add to his six major honours, with four trophies still to play for.
The Premier League leaders face a potentially pivotal game in the title race on Sunday when they travel to Arsenal. Liverpool have defeated the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium this year, winning 2-0 in the FA Cup third round.
“The manager saying he is leaving has given us a greater incentive,” Mac Allister said. “I don’t know if that was his idea when he made the announcement, but it’s definitely become an incentive. We all know what Jürgen means to this club and the fans and we want the best for him. We really understand and respect his decision and now we want to do our best to give him a very good season before he leaves.”
Liverpool, who have lost once in the league this season, thrashed Chelsea 4-1 on Wednesday for their fourth consecutive victory. There were no new arrivals at Anfield in January but they have been boosted by the emergence of the academy graduate Conor Bradley since he made his league debut at Bournemouth on 21 January. The 20-year-old scored one goal and assisted another two in midweek, though sadly he is a doubt on Sunday after the death of his father.
Mac Allister, speaking before that news, said: “Confidence is very high at the moment. When you beat a team like Chelsea 4-1, it’s going to be high. But we expect a very hard game at Arsenal, as it was in the FA Cup. It’s clear that we have improved a lot now as a team since the beginning of the season. We are really working hard. You can see that every player who comes into the team knows exactly what they have to do and it’s very important for us to keep the level and then improve the team from there. We are really pleased with our performances but we know that we’ve only just gone past the halfway mark in the season.”
Since arriving from Brighton in the summer Mac Allister has been a key component in Klopp’s midfield rebuild. The Argentinian has played most regularly in a deeper role. Asked if he anticipated playing there when he joined, Mac Allister said: “No, not really. It was clearly not the idea. But things changed. At the beginning of the season, we didn’t have a proper No 6 so I had to do the job. Jürgen likes it. So I try to do my best and it’s all about helping the team.”