Liverpool confirmed the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson on Thursday night. According to the Guardian, the 25-year-old set the Reds back £65m, making him the most expensive shot-stopper in history. It puts a lot of pressure on Alisson to live up to his billing and it creates lofty expectations of Liverpool given their outlay on a non-outfield player.
And while the club are desperate to defend the signing by suggesting Alisson is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and passing up the opportunity to bring him to Anfield wasn’t an option, Liverpool have kept a number of criticisms quiet. Few would argue Alisson isn’t a good a goalkeeper, but there are three facts about him which somewhat tarnish his stellar reputation.
He was understudy to Szczesny
Upon his arrival at Roma in 2016, Alisson didn’t initially command a starting place due to Wojciech Szczesny being first-choice. The Brazilian was reduced to playing in the Europa League and Coppa Italia and didn’t fare too well after conceding 19 goals in 16 games, keeping only four clean sheets.
He was only first-choice last season as Szczesny had left after his loan deal and joined Juventus permanently. Alisson’s was outstanding for Roma in his stead and didn’t look back. The 25-year-old had to bide his time before being first-choice, but he’s making up for lost time.
Has been found out in Europe
Alisson’s form has been outstanding in Serie A, but he has struggled in European competitions. In the both the Champions League and Europa League for Roma, the goalkeeper has conceded 33 goals in just 23 games, keeping only eight clean sheets – far from flawless.
Liverpool reached the Champions League final last season, but they need a safe pair of hands if they want a repeat in 2018/19. For all Alisson’s brilliance, he’s been found wanting in Europe in the last two years.
Alisson was a regular for his former club Internacional but had only played one full league season in Europe before moving to Liverpool for big money. It’s a gamble by the Reds as the goalkeeper hasn’t played as many games at the top level as some of his equivalents had at his age.
Liverpool liked what they saw from the Brazilian at Roma and with the national team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but they’ll get a true measure of his quality as he gains more and more experience.
Stats from Transfermarkt.