If Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk are in the front of your minds lately, you wouldn’t be the only ones. These two defenders have fundamentally changed Liverpool’s fortunes, turning them from a team infamous for leaking goals to one with the most formidable defense in the league.
And it seems that Alisson has some things to say about van Dijk and his other center-backs, telling the official site, “Van Dijk is a very important player for our team and the way he plays gives consistency for us, defending high balls, corners and set-pieces. I have a big protection in front of me in Virgil and Joel (Matip) and the other defenders like Dejan (Lovren) and the full-backs have been very important too.
“Sometimes we take some risks because we are a team that likes to make the build up from behind, starting with the goalkeeper. This makes a difference for our team because when you start from the back with good quality, the ball goes to the front players with better quality and puts the strikers in a better position.
“I know I have to work hard every day because I am part of a big club which has big plans and big goals. I need to take this responsibility and take care of it.”
Having already kept an impressive 17 clean sheets for Liverpool this season, Alisson’s first season with the Reds has been an unqualified success. Watching Liverpool’s back five this season has often been a masterclass of good decision-making, grace under pressure, and world class talent. And to be fair, there’s been blunders here and there, but overall this season the defense has been better than any of us would have ever believed.
With such important games upcoming, it’s good and still pretty novel to have such confidence in the men defending Liverpool’s goal. Alisson’s chance for clean sheet lucky number 18 comes on Friday when the team takes on van Dijk’s former team Southampton.