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19th Jul 2018

Two aspects of Alisson’s game prove that Liverpool are right to spend so much on him

The Brazilian goalkeeper looks to be the real deal

Robert Redmond

Liverpool have been busy in the transfer window

Already this summer they have signed Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri. Alisson Becker also looks set to join after the Anfield club reportedly agreed to sign the Brazilian goalkeeper from Roma.

Liverpool are set to pay £66 million for the 25-year-old. According to reports, he is keen to join Jurgen Klopp’s side and will have a medical later this week.

Barring any last-minute problems, Alisson will be a Liverpool goalkeeper next season. He faces very little competition for the starting spot at Anfield. Simon Mignolet has failed to convince since joining the club from Sunderland in 2013 and fell out of favour last season. Danny Ward is unproven at the top level, and then there’s Loris Karius.

Alisson joins with his reputation sky-high after an impressive stint in Serie A. He may have conceded seven goals across two legs in the Champions League semi-final, but that had more to do with the quality of Liverpool’s front three, rather than mistakes from the Roma ‘keeper. The Brazilian was otherwise brilliant last season.

According to Opta, only David de Gea (80.28%) and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid (82.68%) had a better save percentage than Alisson (79.26%) in European football last season. In the Premier League, only De Gea saved a greater percentage of shots than him.

Karius, meanwhile, saved 31 shots last season, stopping 68.89% of the shots he faced.

In terms of Liverpool’s rivals, Hugo Lloris of Tottenham saved 70.09% of the shots he faced, Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois saved 68.52% of the shots he faced and Petr Cech saved only 64.44% of the shots he faced for Arsenal.

Alisson is not only an upgrade on Liverpool’s current goalkeepers, he is perhaps even better than his compatriot, who plays for yet another rival. Manchester City’s Ederson had an excellent debut season in the division, helping Pep Guardiola’s side to the league title. However, his save percentage (68.29%) was lower than Alisson’s and he was kept out of the Brazil team by the Liverpool-bound goalkeeper.

Alisson’s distribution will also be a great asset to Klopp’s team. The Brazilian is the modern goalkeeper Liverpool desperately need, as comfortable with his feet starting attacks as he is saving shots. According to Squakwa, Allison completed 81% of passes last season, which is a greater percentage than any other Premier League goalkeeper last season other than Ederson. Karius had a pass success rate of 67.18%.

It’s not just the statistics that are impressive, the Brazilian’s range of passing is excellent. Some of the passes in this video are stunning.

Alisson’s distribution will be perfectly suited to Liverpool’s fast breaks and will prove a dangerous weapon as Liverpool look to challenge for the Premier League title. The prospect of the Brazilian ‘keeper picking out Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane with a long throw or a long pass will be a scary thought for rival teams next season.

The price-tag will inevitably be questioned, but Liverpool are right to pay it. They broke the world transfer record for a defender when they signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for £75m back in January. Why make such an expensive outlay on a defender if the goalkeeper playing behind him isn’t of the standard required for a team challenging for trophies?

Alisson looks the real deal and a significant upgrade on any goalkeeper Liverpool have had over the last couple of years.