Alexis Mac Allister explains why he rejected Liverpool’s number 8 shirt

Alexis Mac Allister explains why he rejected Liverpool’s number 8 shirt

Alexis Mac Allister has confessed he rejected the chance to wear the number 8 shirt at Liverpool out of respect for Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard enjoyed ten years wearing the number 8 at Anfield and, following his departure in 2015, the shirt actually went vacant until Naby Keita joined the club in 2018.

With Keita leaving on a free transfer this summer, Mac Allister was offered the chance to take the 8 shirt – the same number he wore in Argentina with Boca Juniors – but the new signing turned it down in favour of keeping the 10 from his Brighton days.

“One day, I was talking to my dad when he asked me what number I would wear for Liverpool,” said Mac Allister. “I knew there were several numbers available – including 10 and 8.

“The number 8 shirt is a very important number in that club because of Gerrard, so I hesitated a bit. I ended up choosing the 10, but 8 is a number that I like a lot and has a history at the club.”

The 10 was famously worn by both Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane at Anfield and was left vacant by the latter’s move to Bayern Munich last summer.


Mac Allister went on to explain the impact Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had on his decision to move to Anfield.

“After the season ended, I had the chance to talk to Klopp and he told me about the club, the city and what he wanted,” he continued. “The main thing was that from the first moment, they communicated with my family and with me, they wanted me to be there.

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“When I was able to speak with the coach, it was made even clearer. It’s the small details that made me choose Liverpool. I feel that it is the right step in my career.”

He added: “We all know that Klopp likes to play a lot on the counterattack, but in recent years there has been a change in his way of playing. He explained to me that he needed players to play between the lines and with a winning mentality.

“I’ve always had that mentality – but even more so after the World Cup. I want to win titles – that’s the goal that the club and I have. Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the world. Its history makes it like this.

“The fans demonstrate in each match in the way they show up. But as well as history, there is a team with great players and a great coach. From the first moment, they showed me a lot of desire for me to be there.”


On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Toby Cudworth is joined by Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss the latest transfer news. On the agenda is Arsenal’s approach for Jurrien Timber, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, the exodus of Chelsea players to Saudi Arabia, Moises Caicedo, Kyle Walker, Man Utd’s goalkeeper plans & more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

  • June 25, 2023