The struggle to employ a world-class goalkeeper has been real and ongoing for Liverpool. It’s been many a season that supporters have looked longingly at other good sides with their fancy points-saving shotstoppers. Simon Mignolet is a good keeper but always seemed unsuited to Jürgen Klopp’s style of play. Mignolet has great reaction time but isn’t the sweeper keeper necessary to take this Liverpool team to the next level.
Loris Karius had a solid run in the XI last season, helping the squad to the Champions League final and into the Premier League top four. The young German keeper may still have an important role to play for Klopp, but Alisson Becker has all the attributes that the manager and the fans have been looking to add to the squad. Distribution, shot-stopping, set-piece dominance. Alisson does it all.
Klopp was asked about Liverpool’s signing of the Brazilian while on the club’s U.S. pre-season tour and the manager highlights the usual scarcity of world-class goalkeepers on the market as a great reason to grab Alisson now, to strike while the iron was hot.
“That’s part of the job, to try to bring the best players you can get,” said Klopp.
“The goalkeeper market is different because it’s not each year that there is anybody available and stuff like that.
“We didn’t know exactly if Alisson is available or not, but from a specific moment we realised obviously he is available and that’s the moment when we decided we want to go for him.”
Alisson’s transfer broke the world record for a goalkeeper, costing Liverpool £67million. But Klopp isn’t impressed with the big numbers. Liverpool had a chance to bring in a goalkeeper to immediately elevate the team and they did. The market is what it is, etc.
“Everybody thinks it’s a lot of money,” said Klopp. “It is a lot of money, but he could’ve left for crazy money.
“The clause for Oblak for example is €100m. So, nice! And that’s in this year where obviously a few things happen on the goalkeeper position.”
The fates of Mignolet and Karius are unknown. Mignolet was expected to depart for more minutes as a number one. And Karius was expected to stay on. But Alisson’s arrival could shake things up a bit. Karius may not wish to play second fiddle to the Brazilian for the foreseeable future and try to move on this summer. And Mignolet could be urged to accept that supporting role behind Alisson, content with cup games and the odd run out in the league.
Klopp, of course, is as supportive as ever of all his goalkeepers but he knows what his team needs to compete and Alisson’s arrival is all about providing the team everything it needs to keep winning.
“We are really fine with our goalkeepers,” Klopp said. “So there’s no doubts. Simon Mignolet – big quality, absolutely Premier League highest-level quality, Loris Karius as well.
“Yes, we all know what happened in the [Champions League] final, but we know as well why it’s not about that.
“It’s not the reason. We really wanted to bring in a player which we didn’t have before to be honest and that’s what happened with Alisson.”