Liverpool splashed out big last summer on a position that has plagued them for years, but just how good was Alisson Becker this season?
The Reds still have one match left to play, and it’s a pretty big one, but it’s fair to say that no matter what happens in Madrid the Anfield faithful’s opinion of Alisson will not change.
Signed for £66.8m, a world-record fee at the time, the Brazilian has become an integral part of the spine that has made Jurgen Klopp’s Reds a physically imposing force to be reckoned with, so we’ve reviewed his season with a focus on two very memorable moments.
There’s almost too many to choose from here. The finger-tip stop to deny Burnley late on at Turf Moor was stunning, and there is certainly an argument for his part in the 4-0 mauling of Barcelona at Anfield.
However, his Schmeichel-esque save to deny Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik in the final group game of the Champions League could be the deciding factor in ensuring the Reds don’t end the season trophyless.
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Needing all three points to progress, the Reds’ defence lost Milik at the back post in the dying moments of the match with the score at 1-0. Alisson raced off his line, adjusted his feet, and made him self too big for Milik to squeeze the ball past.
If Klopp’s side overcome Tottenham to win number six in Madrid, this was the save that made it all possible.
If there’s one criticism you could level at the ex-Roma shot-stopper, it is that he doesn’t quite seem to have adjusted to the pressure and speed of Premier League forwards.
Just a week after pulling off an audacious piece of skill against Brighton, he was caught napping at the King Power Stadium by Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho, resulting in a tense finish despite the Reds eventually winning 2-1.
It is not the only time he has set Liverpool hearts racing with a bit of showboating, and despite his excellent ball-playing ability this is something that must disappear from his game next season.
Overall, Alisson has had a near-flawless debut campaign on Merseyside. Brazil’s number one led the league in clean sheets with 21, earning himself an A-.
If the 26 year-old can keep his shot-stopping form while cutting out the occasional silly errors, there will be absolutely no debate that he is one of the world’s best.