Alisson became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper on 19 July 2018 when he put pen to paper and signed for Liverpool during the summer transfer window. He would however only be called that for few weeks due to Chelsea’s record-breaking purchase of Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga on 9 August 2018 after Thibault Courtois moved to Real Madrid.
The Battle of the Keepers
With only seven games left to play in the Premier League this season the footballing world is intensely focused on the title race whilst watching the Golden Boot contenders with keen interest. The Golden Glove is also up for grabs and unlike previous seasons, Manchester United’s David de Gea is no longer an automatic shoe-in for the number one spot with Manchester City gaining Ederson two summers ago, and Liverpool and Chelsea having invested in their keepers, the competition for the best shot stopper has never been stronger.
Last season while playing for AS Roma in La Liga, Alisson had 15 clean sheets in 34 games and conceded 27 goals whilst making 92 saves. In comparison, David de Gea had 14 clean sheets in 36 games in the Premier League, and also conceded 27 goals while making 90 saves. This season Alisson and Liverpool lead the way as far as clean sheets are concerned with a total of 17, followed by Manchester City’s Ederson with 14 and Chelsea’s Kepa with 11 clean sheets.
Further to that, another important goalkeeping statistic is the Expected Goals Conceded (xGC) stat. Opta introduced the Expected Goals metric last season. To calculate the Expected goals’ (xG) for a match, every shot is analysed and then given an ‘Expected goal value’ (EGV). The EGV of a shot assumes that it has been taken by someone of average ability in the league. The value is determined by several factors, including; where the shot was taken from, the proximity of defenders, and the nature of the attack, i.e. whether it was a free-kick or a penalty as well as the quality of the assist.
Alisson’s xGC is 25 (24.86) goals. However, he has only conceded 18 Premier League goals this season and thusly has outperformed his xGC total by 6.86 goals, i.e. he has let in fewer goals than expected.
- Ederson has conceded 21 goals vs 22.84 xGC, exceeding by 1.84
- De Gea has conceded 40 goals vs 41.75 xGC, exceeding by 1.75
- Kepa has conceded 33 goals vs 31.48, under-performing by 1.52
Alisson has made three errors which led to opposition goals this season and David de Gea has made two errors. Meanwhile Ederson and Kepa have yet to make any errors leading to opposition goals in the Premier League this season.
Alisson does however, make up for the above by having the best save percentage of the group with a total of 77.5%. He is followed by De Gea who has a save percentage of 72.6%, then Ederson with 70% and Kepa with 67.3%.
Life off the Pitch – At Home in Liverpool
As the countdown to the final stage of the season begins, Alisson can look back on a fantastic debut season for Liverpool, and it’s clear his happiness at home has strongly influenced his success. The 26-year-old chatted to Liverpool F. C’s official club magazine (the April 2019 edition) about his initial language barrier, the importance of the entire squad, his family, and how he has adapted to life in Liverpool.
I have been having regular English lessons. One of the hardest challenges I had at the start was getting used to the accent, not just the British accent but the Liverpool accent! But I’ve managed to deal with this.
When I came here, I felt that everyone was important for me, not just the Brazilians. All the players are important, be they the local players from the UK or the players from overseas. I admire the strength we have as a team and the quality that every single one of our players has, but the most important thing for me is the team spirit.
Above all I feel at home here. Home is where the heart is and where the family is. My family is here, my daughter and my wife live here, and my parents come when they can. When I think about Brazil, I miss it a lot but I have been welcomed here and I feel very much at home.
The whole group received me very well. The fans have been very kind too, so I’m really happy here in Liverpool.
And we are ecstatic to have you at our club for many, many more seasons to come, Alisson Rameses Becker.