Michael Edwards and the Liverpool transfer team are on fire and can’t be stopped. Despite the fears of Reds supporters the world over, there were no 11th hour reversals this time as the Liverpool smashed another record in signing Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker for a fee of about £65m.
Manager Jürgen Klopp was ecstatic upon finally getting the target identified at least six months ago by the scouting team as the ideal recruit between the sticks at Anfield.
“At one point in the last few weeks it came up, the opportunity to sign one of the world’s best goalkeepers—then it’s not a long thought, to be honest, it’s only that you need to have a little talk with the owners! They were quite excited, so we did it,” the German said speaking to the team website.
The eye-popping numbers around the deal have created some furor, with the £56m guaranteed and £9m in add ons comfortably smashing the €52m Juventus paid to recruit Gianluigi Buffon back in 2001. However, Klopp pointedly dismissed talk of his team fanning the transfer fee surge with the argument that in the era of £200m attackers, goalkeepers are finally being recognized for the equally as important value they bring to the table:
“I think it’s something we have to do,” the boss maintained regarding the decision to break the record. “He has nothing to do with the price, we have nothing to do with the price, it’s the market, that’s how it is and we will not think a lot about it.”
“It shows the value of goalkeepers, of course, in this moment. It will happen a lot in the next few weeks I guess and that’s it, so we are really happy to have him here now.”
“His English is surprisingly good and he is a real personality,” the 51-year-old continued. “He has meanwhile a lot of experience in the last few years, in Europe and in Rome, he’s played there on an outstandingly high level and he did the same at the World Cup.
“It was for Brazil not too lucky, that’s how it is, but then he played a really good World Cup. So it’s just a good moment.”
“The full package is just good.”
“How we all do, he needs to adapt to the English Premier League, that’s how it is. The league is different, the refs are different, the goalkeeper life is different in the Premier League.
“But that’s not important now because again, we got him here because of his existing strengths, which is in all goalkeeper departments the highest level.
“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.”
With the 25-year-old Alisson joining a 27-year-old Virgil Van Dijk, a 23-year-old Naby Keïta and a 26-year-old Roberto Firmino, Liverpool appear to have secured a spine that could dominate the remaining four years of Klopp’s reign at the club as the Reds chase domestic and European glory.
The season can’t come quickly enough.