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Spurs: Fabio Paratici dealt Alexis Mac Allister blow

Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Alexis Mac Allister to north London in the January transfer window.

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In a recent interview with The Argus, Brighton & Hove Albion deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber revealed that, despite Mac Allister being linked with a move to a number of top-tier sides this winter – including the likes of Spurs, Chelsea and Juventus – he is not willing to discuss a deal for the central midfielder in January.

When asked whether he had received any contract regarding the 23-year-old – who is reported to be valued at around the €40m (£35m) mark – Barber said: “No – and we don’t want any. We are quite happy as we are, certainly for as long as we can be. But we are also realistic.

“Alexis Mac Allister has just won a World Cup at 23 years of age and has had a fantastic season with us. We know there is going to be interest in Alexis… this is normal, this is the world we wanted to operate in and this is the world we are operating in.

“We can’t be surprised when there is interest and, at some point, we have to accept that these players will go on to play at an even higher level than ours. But, at the moment, we are going well. We are looking forward to the rest of the season and we want to try and keep our group together.”

An unreal steal

Considering just how impressive Alexis Mac Allister has been for both club and country so far this season, the argument that Fabio Paratici simply must launch a £35m bid in order to test Brighton’s resolve for the midfielder this January is an extremely easy one to make.

Indeed, over his six appearances at the Qatar World Cup this winter, the £35m-rated talent proved himself to be one of the breakout stars of the tournament, scoring one goal, registering one assist and creating two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.2 shots, making 1.3 key passes and completing 0.7 dribbles – at a success rate of 67% – per game.

The £50k-per-week midfielder also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.5 tackles, 0.5 interceptions and winning 5.2 duels – at a success rate of 54% – per match, in addition to playing an average of 0.8 long balls, 1.2 chipped passes and completing 39 total passes – at a success rate of 89% – per outing.

These returns saw the player who Ryan Adsett dubbed a “golden boy” and Barber labelled “incredible” average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.05, ranking him as Lionel Scaloni’s fourth-best performer in the competition – playing a key role in Argentina’s first World Cup triumph since 1986.

The 23-year-old has been in similarly spectacular form over his 14 Premier League appearances so far this season, having already bagged five goals and created one big chance, as well as taking an average of 1.9 shots, making 0.9 key passes and completing 0.6 dribbles per game.

The former AA Argentinos Juniors talent has also made an average of 3.1 tackles – the seventh-most in the league – 1.4 interceptions and won 5.8 duels – at a success rate of 59% – per fixture, as well as enjoying an average of 72.9 touches, playing 2.2 long balls and completing 51.1 passes – at a success rate of 89% – per match.

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These metrics have seen the midfielder who Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo dubbed “unreal” average an extraordinary Sofascore match rating of 7.31, not only ranking him as Roberto De Zerbi’s best performer in the league but also as the 14th-best player in the English top flight as a whole.

As such, considering just how exciting a talent Mac Allister evidently is, it is indeed easy to make the argument that Paratici simply must do everything he can to land the midfielder this winter, as signing a player with the ability and potential of the Brighton star for just £35m would undoubtedly represent an absolute steal for the Italian sporting director.