With his clean sheet against Cardiff last time out, Liverpool glovesman Alisson Becker recorded his 19th Premier League clean sheet of the season from just 35 games in what is his debut season in England, conceding just 20 goals in the process.
His shutout against the Bluebirds now means that the Brazilian international has kept more Premier League clean sheets than any other keeper has managed in a single campaign across the last decade of top-flight action – more than the likes of David de Gea, Thibaut Courtois, Petr Cech and Hugo Lloris have managed.
Alisson stats this season:
• 19 clean sheets in 35 PL games
• 20 goals conceded – lowest in the top 5 leagues.
• Most clean sheets kept in the PL in the last decade; more than De Gea, Courtois, Hart.
Mainly because of Van Dijk but you can’t discredit his vital saves. pic.twitter.com/3BAw5LZQuw
— Samuel (@VintageSalah) April 22, 2019
However, whilst the stats make for good reading, is Alisson actually that good?
When you think of De Gea, you think of a goalkeeper who makes saves that defy belief; jaw-dropping reflexes, incredible acrobatics and an unerringly brilliant use of his feet.
Has Alisson been Liverpool’s most important signing of the season? Check out the video below to find out why Jurgen Klopp thinks so…
Can you remember a moment in the current campaign where Alisson has truly saved his side when it looks as if the opposition are bound to score? They don’t easily come to mind.
And there is no denying the influence of Virgil van Dijk in front of him, a man whose impact has been immeasurable at the back for the Reds – the former Roma stopper certainly wouldn’t have as many shutouts without the dominant Dutchman in front of him.
You also can’t discredit Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson ahead of Alisson – if any other goalkeeper in the league had this type of quality in front of them, they would probably be recording similar statistics to the 26-year-old.
Even Loris Karius looked sturdy in between the sticks after van Dijk joined in January 2018. The German stopper managed to keep an impressive eight clean sheets in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign after the Dutchman signed, despite having to do very little to earn them.
If Karius didn’t make his now infamous errors in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, who’s to say that the former Mainz stopper wouldn’t still be in between the sticks for the Reds?
Just by making that comparison, it’s clear that whoever is in goal behind this excellent Liverpool back four is going to have an easy ride, whilst only needing to make the odd save here and there when the defence rarely slips up every now and again.
There have been errors too against Tottenham at Anfield, in which Alisson palmed a Harry Kane shot into the path of Christian Eriksen, only for Robertson to prevent the Dane from tapping into an empty net, and the ill-fated attempt to dribble his way past Leicester City’s front-line back at the start of the campaign.
Yes, his excellent kicking and vision have been instrumental in helping Liverpool counter-attack as effectively as they have done this season, but he definitely isn’t worthy of the acclaim that he has been getting. His only real achievement is not being as calamitous as the many error-addled goalkeepers who preceded him at Anfield.