Since his record-breaking signing for Liverpool on 20 July 2018, Alisson Becker has been a revelation for the Reds, both on, and off the pitch.
The Brazilian has not only brought stability to Liverpool in his role as the first team goalkeeper; he has ushered in a state perpetual calm and brought an added reassurance to our back line. Sunday’s 2 - 0 victory away at Cardiff saw Alisson record his 19th clean sheet of the season. What makes that number even more significant is the fact that it is the best recorded tally by a Premier League goalkeeper in the last ten years, surpassing Manchester United’s David de Gea’s 18 clean sheets from last season. Petr Cech however, still holds the record for the most clean sheets in a Premier League season with 24, which he completed during the 2004-05 season. Alisson has also made an incredible 67 saves this season, conceding a mere 20 goals.
The new Liverpool number 1 as of next season, Alisson Becker’s influence is not solely restricted to the first team. Liverpool’s goalkeeping coach for the under-23s, Mark Morris believes that Alisson is the perfect goalkeeper for Liverpool and the club’s football identity - an identity which carries through from Melwood to Kirkby. Mark worked closely with Alisson during his first six weeks at the club alongside first team goalkeeping coach John Achterberg and uses footage of the Brazilian’s goalkeeping prowess as training material during his sessions with the younger goalkeepers at the club and feels that Alisson is not only a perfect goalie but also an excellent role model. As he explained during an interview with LiverpoolFC.com recently:
I work with the goalkeepers from U9s to U23s. We have trial days and the kids come in with the Alisson tops on. It’s certainly nice to see. He’s one of the best in the world, so you can’t help but look up to the guy.
What we try to encourage the boys to do is to watch him, and the way we play at Liverpool, the boys have to be calm on the ball. He fits the bill in terms of modern goalkeepers. How we play, we use him as an example to the boys - playing out from the back, seeing if the longer passes are on and trying to be calm with the team. He gives a level of calmness out from the back, which is vital for the way we play. He’s the quickest I’ve seen...
The way we work at the Academy, we try to use our own players as examples. Not only is he a good goalkeeper, he’s a humble person as well. At the Academy, it’s certainly about producing decent people as well as good footballers.
With Liverpool eyeing the potential double with the Premier League and Champions League titles still on the potential horizon, Alisson Becker’s footballing brain and the sense of calm he has brought into the side will be even more important in the next few weeks and we are extremely lucky that the Messi of goalkeepers chose Liverpool as his home.