After months of speculation it seems that Liverpool have made their move with a formal bid for Roma and Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
The Brazilian number one played every minute of every game in the World Cup as one of the tournament favourites bounced out in the quarter-final, but the speculation involving Alisson and Liverpool has been rumbling on since the early days of spring.
With a bid of £62m being offered by the Reds, you would think that the deal would happen quickly if Roma decide that this offer is good enough and that they wish to cash in on arguably their most expensive asset. Reports that Roma need to sell continue to build, and the beaten Champions League semi-finalists may find themselves in a similar position to last summer where they were forced into the sale of Mo Salah.
Salah has gone on to become our Egyptian King and Roma meanwhile will eternally feel ripped off at receiving a paltry £35m for someone who would now likely command closer to ten times that amount. I have no doubt that this contributes a fair bit to the huge fee for Alisson.
This is undoubtedly a vast sum of money for a goalkeeper and will consummately break the world record. That is held by Manchester City and a Brazilian goalkeeper of their own, Ederson, who cost the Premier League champions £34.9m last summer.
Whilst £62m is an eye-watering sum of money, Jürgen Klopp has identified that Alisson is the number one goalkeeper of his choice and I can certainly see why. Whilst I have not been truly impressed with the Brazilian on the few occasions I’ve seen him, I can see why Klopp rates him. He’s tall, he’s quick off his line and above all he is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Possession is key to our game and it is essential that we keep the ball as often as possible. It is one of Simon Mignolet’s biggest downfalls. He makes ricks but the Belgian is capable of some brilliant, brilliant saves. But his distribution is nowhere near the standard we need and all too often he will barely get the ball to the half way line.
Loris Karius’ use of the ball is better but he doesn’t look confident and he inspires the jitters all around the ground whenever the ball is at his feet.
When the focus is on a high possession game, which we undoubtedly play, we need a goalkeeper who is happy to have the ball at his feet and happy to take that extra touch and find a teammate instead of letting midfield compete for headers.
However, I do have some concerns. I saw Alisson very closely in that two legged affair with Roma in the Champions League semi-final and whilst he made no mistakes, I don’t recall him making a save whilst shipping seven goals in two games. The biggest worry for me however, is he doesn’t look too hot on crosses.
Whilst the Premier League has undoubtedly become a much more footballing league in the past two decades, it is still a game of bread and butter where getting it into the mixer is a big part of the game. In the World Cup, I saw Alisson flap at more than a couple of crosses. He will need to be commanding and confident or teams will actively target him and it will be perceived as a weakness.
The fans will need to be patient. If you recall David De Gea’s first season, he was a nightmare under crosses before becoming confident and competent to the extent where it never even gets talked about anymore.
It will be down to Alisson to hit the ground running. But there’s a long way to go on that front yet. Just because we have made a bid doesn’t mean that will get accepted. This might end up flushing out Real Madrid and Chelsea, who are also rumoured suitors. But it is exciting to see that Klopp has decided that something must give with the goalkeeping situation, and that movement is abound.