Liverpool had struggled to find more than a serviceable goalkeeper after Pepe Reina’s powers began to dwindle circa 2010. There were quite a few contenders for the position over the years and Simon Mignolet had a good run but with each new signing it was clear that the search would have to continue.
Peter Gulacsi and Alexander Doni barely made a ripple in the unforgiving waters between the sticks. Adam Bogdan was a thing. Don’t forget Jose Enrique’s time to shine in goal after Reina was sent off at Newcastle in 2013. Brad Jones gave it his best shot for five seasons as an understudy but like the others, the Australian keeper wasn’t a good fit for Liverpool’s ambitions.
Of course, it was hoped that Loris Karius would be the guy to stand up and take the stopper’s mantle but, despite a decent run of form that helped Liverpool to the Champions League final last season, the German moved to Turkey on loan after the arrival of Alisson Becker.
There was exactly zero doubt in anybody’s mind that Alisson would instantly become the club’s number one goalkeeper upon his arrival from AS Roma. The Brazilian had been doing all the good things in Italy and the footballing world was taking note.
Alisson’s reputation has only grown since his move to Merseyside in the summer. Liverpool have kept 12 clean sheets this season and are undefeated in the Premier League.
The defensive stability and reliability seen on the pitch this season is in large part thanks to Alisson and the smooth stylings of Virgil Van Dijk. Ahead of the trip to Manchester City on Thursday, Jürgen Klopp highlighted his keeper’s significant contributions to the team.
“Alisson is unbelievably important,” Klopp said.
“They all have their specific importance, for sure, but Ali is not only the goalkeeper. He is an outfield player as well and that helps of course.”
But Pep Guardiola has his own Brazilian wonder keeper up at the Etihad. Ederson, like Alisson, is a world-class player in his position and Klopp was gleeful to acknowledge the significance of two powerful goalkeepers playing at the top the game at the same time.
“Tafarrel was the goalkeeper I knew from Brazil, an outstanding goalkeeper, but I don’t remember a lot of world-class ones,” said Klopp.
“Now they have two of the world’s best, if not the world’s best. It is incredible.
“Coming from Germany, I know how important Manuel Neuer was with his football playing on top of his goalkeeping skills.
“You can’t imagine that two can come along with the same skills and maybe even a bit better. What I would say is these two boys do not have to hide.”