Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Klopp's jigsaw puzzle almost complete with Alisson signing

Blackburn Rovers vs. Liverpool- Pre Season Friendly All rights reserved by Getty Images Europe
Sergio Cook | 21 July, 2018, 13:45

Most thought it needlessly extravagant. Ederson acted nearly as a playmaker in Pep Guardiola's side and by the end of the season was considered an indispensable member of the title-winning team. The big clubs, in particular, seem determined this summer to ensure the position is filled by someone reliable.

Shaka Hislop explains why he's certain Liverpool will get a return on their reported £66.9 million investment should Alisson agree to move to Anfield.

Alisson is Liverpool's fourth major signing since they finished the 2017-18 season fourth in the Premier League and were beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

But Liverpool are not alone in their high profile pursuit of a goalkeeper.

Last summer saw the completion of a transfer deal which shook the European transfer market to its core, as Brazil golden boy Neymar completed a staggering £200m transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. And Chelsea, in turn, could look to bring in Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel as his replacement.

Talking to him is to speak to a humble yet confident player, one who idolises Brazil legend Cláudio Taffarel, but insists Manuel Neuer is the best current 'keeper. Klopp acknowledged the size of the fee - the most ever paid for a goalkeeper - but felt his club had to act. They play the World Cup, then the Nations League, next summer is the final of the Nations League which is really insane.

Alisson has been priced up at £5.5m in Fantasy Premier League, half a million more expensive than fellow Liverpool goalkeepers Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.

It is one of football's unusual assumptions that goalkeepers are inherently less valuable than attacking players.

He also said he liked having the ball at his feet and could help the team's attack.

"But of course he still has to adapt and age-wise he can improve, the best years are coming in the goalkeeper life, so it's all good".

Here, we compare his output from the 2017/18 season with that of Ederson, De Gea, Lloris and Thibaut Courtois, with per-90 statistics from their basic goalkeeping contributions.

Brazil midfielder Fabinho, 24, has joined from Monaco in a deal which could be worth more than £40m, while Guinea midfielder Naby Keita, 23, has moved to the Merseyside club from German side RB Leipzig in a £48m deal. That was ludicrously low-priced. Not the first pick for autographs, hidden away at the back, away from the glory.

However, it was Liverpool who once again stepped up to break the mould that was seemingly set across European football.

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