Alexis Mac Allister has revealed he came close to leaving Brighton in late 2021 as he struggled to adapt to a new life in England with little playing time.
Mac Allister was picked up by the Seagulls’ South American scouting network in 2019 but would spend time that year on loan with Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors.
The Argentina international eventually broke into Graham Potter’s squad towards the end of the 2019/20 season and would soon become an important player at both club and international level.
The 24-year-old is a World Cup winner, having played a pivotal role in the Albiceleste’s 2022 victory in Qatar, though Mac Allister has admitted the road to that career-defining moment was tricky, especially early in his Brighton career.
“It was challenging for me,” he told Sky Sports. “The first year was tough. Coming here, a new language, a new culture, different football. I am grateful to the people who supported me through that first year because it was a tough one. I just trained hard because I knew my moment was going to arrive.”
Asked if he thought about quitting Brighton, he added: “Yeah, sure. There was a moment when I was thinking about leaving. It was December 2021 and I was not playing.
“I said that if I see in January that I do not have my opportunity I think it is time to leave and look for another opportunity in another place.”
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Mac Allister has drawn significant interest from the transfer market thanks to his recent displays. 90min revealed in January both Juventus and Atletico Madrid are tracking the midfielder, who signed a new contract at the AMEX in October.
However, he insisted he is not itching for a move away from the south coast just yet.
He added: “If a good offer comes for the club and for me then we will make a decision but I like to live in the present and I am really happy here at Brighton. The dream was to win the World Cup and I have done it. I could retire now. But I still enjoy playing football.”
Mac Allister has scored five Premier League goals so far this season, impressing in a Seagulls side packed with talent including Moises Caicedo and Kaoru Mitoma.