Ever since Pepe Reina’s Liverpool decline and departure, goalkeeper had been something of a problem position for the Reds. And while it may still be early days, signs point to the club having finally solved that problem with the signing of Alisson.
He’s settled in quickly and been key to Liverpool having conceded only five league goals, joint best with Manchester City. More than just stopping shots, he’s good with his feet—and more than that, even, he looks up to dealing with the pressure of the position.
“Alisson is everything a modern goalkeeper needs to be,” was Gianluigi Buffon’s response when the Paris Saint-Germain stopper was asked about the man between the sticks for their upcoming opponent, who he sees as one of the game’s top three.
Given Alisson’s record so far for Liverpool, his performances last season for Roma, and his place on this year’s Ballon d’Or longlist it would be hard to argue with Buffon, a player in the running for best goalkeeper of all time, on the matter.
“Liverpool have conceded very few goals this season,” Buffon continued. “And he might be a new name for those in England but for me it is no surprise. I have been watching him for some years now and am a big admirer.
“He is comfortable with the ball, he is an excellent shot stopper and I see that he gives confidence to his defence. He is one of the top three goalkeepers in the world right now and has everything to go on and be a great of his position.”
As for Buffon, the now 40-year-old has watched the demands of the position change over his long career, and while he has grown and changed some with it, at a fundamental level he will always be a stopper of another generation—which isn’t this one.
“When I started playing the question you asked about goalkeepers was, ‘How good are they with their hands?’” Buffon, who has played more than 850 games played for club and country, added. “Now the question is how good are they with their feet?”
“There is no doubt goalkeeping has evolved throughout my career, but for me a goalkeeper must concentrate on the fundamentals. At the same time you have to accept the role has changed and more things are expected of the modern goalkeeper.”