Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister is one of the players in Argentina’s squad that will play the Olympics in Tokyo this year.
So instead of doing the pre-season with the Seagulls, the 22-year-old is now joining his country’s squad, which debuts in the tournament on the 22th of July against Australia.
It turns out that many clubs didn’t give the green light for their players to take part in the Olympics, since FIFA doesn’t force them to accept it.
That was apparently the case with Brighton, as when Mac Allister spoke to the Argentine media last night, he revealed that the Seagulls’ intention was not to let him go, but the club ended up being convinced.
“I had to fight a bit with the Brighton leaders because at first they didn’t want to let me come, since the calls for the Olympic Games are not mandatory, but then everything was fixed”, Mac Allister told TyC Sports (via El Sol).
Mac Allister then explained how important it will be for him to feature in the tournament.
“I wanted to come because I think that being in the Olympic team means they can look at me from the first team and that is what also motivates me to go to Tokyo.”
Argentina will be playing in Group C along with Egypt, Spain and Australia.
The tournament ends on the 7th of August, and Brighton’s first game of the season is against Burnley a week later.