Roberto De Zerbi has described Alexis Mac Allister as a special guy ahead of their reunion at Anfield.

He said the Argentina star left Albion in an “honest way” and added that is not the case with all players.

Mac Allister is likely to face his former club when the Seagulls visit Liverpool today.

He left Albion on good terms and De Zerbi memorably led the applause for him in front of the away section at Villa Park after his final appearance for the club.

De Zerbi said: “With me and with my staff he was super correct.

“Before we could read it in the newspapers, in the press, the possibility he could go to Liverpool, he went into my office to communicate it in front of me and to explain the reason.

“I understood logically and I appreciated a lot because he was clear and he was honest. Not all other players were the same.

“I’m speaking about the man. If you want to speak about the player, he is great, and I can’t explain his qualities as a player.

“But I can explain his qualities as a man, as a guy.

“I wanted to come with him to our fans because he deserved to celebrate with them. He was nice with everybody in this club.”

Mac Allister was in tears as he said farewell at Villa Park.

De Zerbi said: “Yes, because he’s a passionate guy and he suffered to leave.

“Of course he was happy to go to Liverpool and we can understand it.

“But, in the same way, he was sad to leave his teammate and this club.”