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Alexis Mac Allister starred in Argentina’s World Cup triumph putting in once again another brilliant performance as his side went onto beat France in the shootout after the game ended 3-3 after 120 minutes.

Brighton & Hove Albion hope “it won’t be a problem for a couple of years” when it comes to keeping hold of Alexis Mac Allister, says chief executive Paul Barber.

Brighton’s first ever World Cup winner, Mac Allister, will be returning to the South Coast with many more admirers. The Brighton man started 6 of Argentina’s World Cup matches including the final, he scored in the 2-0 against Poland and got a vital assist for Angel Di Maria in the final.

Mac Allister has a deal at Brighton until June 2025, with the club having the option to extend it by a year.

“He will be sought after, we’re very aware of that, but we hope to keep him here as long as we can,” said Barber.

“All we can do is protect ourselves the best we can through the contracts and hope we can hold on to the player for as long as possible, but this is a young man who has just won the World Cup at 23 and set up arguably one of the most iconic goals in World Cup history.”

“On the BBC website he was voted player of the match, which is incredible for a 23-year-old in his first World Cup, having only recently broken into Argentina’s team,” said Barber.

‘His father played for Argentina with Maradona’

“He comes from a footballing family, his father played for Argentina with [Diego] Maradona actually,” Barber said.

“Twenty-five years ago, the thought of having a World Cup winner in our team was a pipe dream and now it’s reality, which is incredible. It’s wonderful for all of our fans and staff that have been part of that.” Brighton’s reputation has been increasing ever since their promotion to the Premier League in 2017, even more so now that they sit in 7th in the league after a rather impressive start in a competition which is more competitive than ever before.

Brighton return to action with a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie at Charlton Athletic on Wednesday before leagues games against Southampton (26 December) and Arsenal (31 December).

Barber said Brighton “would be a very poor club” to deny Mac Allister the chance to return to Argentina to celebrate their World Cup triumph.

But he added: “On the other hand, we have got games coming up thick and fast and one of the downsides of the Qatar World Cup is that we haven’t yet even completed half a season.

“We’ve actually got a lot of work to do now and Alexis will be a big part of that. We’re all looking forward to it very much.”

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June 2024