How Liverpool's Alisson Dethroned David De Gea As Premier League's No 1 Goalkeeper

Football News

Liverpool signed Alisson Becker from AS Roma on a then-world record fee. The Brazilian has established himself as one of the Premier League's best since then.

Written By Colin DCunha | Mumbai | Updated On:
Alisson

Liverpool's 2-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield was a tale of 1,001 nights. The 2-0 win at home to Man United meant that Liverpool are now unbeaten at Anfield in 1,001 days and counting. Club legend John Barnes was later asked if there were any nerves at Anfield when the Reds had just a one-goal cushion towards the tail-end of the game. Barnes, in turn, replied by saying that the signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker meant that the Liverpool faithful showed no signs of nerves during the Liverpool vs Man United game against their arch-rivals.

Also Read | Premier League Review: Liverpool's 1001 Nights Record Condemns Man United To Defeat

Liverpool broke the bank for Alisson, but the Brazilian has repaid every penny

Alisson spent just one full season as AS Roma's No. 1 before Liverpool decided to make him the world's most expensive goalkeeper back then. Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga may have stolen that label weeks after, but the Spaniard has failed to win over his doubters at Stamford Bridge. Alisson, on the other hand, has worked wonders for Liverpool. 

The Brazilian was brought in to shore up Liverpool's spine. The signings of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho were meant to provide some steel to Liverpool's defence. A year and a half on, those signings seemed to have paid off. Alisson, in particular, paid a key role in Liverpool's run to the pinnacle of European success last season. His effort to thwart Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik in the 92nd minute not only kept Liverpool in the Champions League but also proved to be the platform for their UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup success.

Also Read | Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool: From 'Heavy Metal Football' To A Well-Oiled Machine

The Premier League has seen a number of goalkeeping imports over the years. The likes of Peter Schmeichel, Petr Cech and Edwin van der Sar have proven to be masterstrokes in Premier League success stories. David de Gea was the last to join that league.

Signed as a lanky young Spaniard from Atletico Madrid, David de Gea had a tough time adjusting to life in England. A number of Man United fans thought him to be too weak, too frail to handle the physicality of Premier League football. David de Gea's reflexes, however, were second to none.

After an error-prone first season, the Spaniard went on to establish himself as one of the league's best. While he did have the assurance of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in his first couple of seasons, even after the duo's retirement, David de Gea was arguably the best goalkeeper in the league.

Also Read | Pep Guardiola And The Dark Cloud Of The "Chequebook Manager"

Alisson stats vs David de Gea stats

In 23 Premier League appearances this season, David de Gea has just four clean sheets to his name, conceding a total of 27 goals in the process. Alisson, on the other hand, has seven clean sheets and has conceded just five goals so far, despite missing the first 11 games of the season

 Add to that an assist registered in the Liverpool vs Man United game, and it becomes clear that Alisson has usurped David de Gea's position as the Premier League's best goalkeeper over the last two seasons. While the Brazilian may not be making the flashier saves every week, his superior positioning allows him to be in an optimum position to save any efforts directed at his goal.

Alisson has saved the last 21 shots at goal he has faced in all competitions this season, in conjunction with the 38 saves he has made off the last 41. That's a save percentage coming up to 93% in all competitions. A fee of a reported £62.5 million may have seemed like overkill for a 'keeper with just one full season as a No.1 under his belt, but Liverpool's transfer strategy under Michael Edwards has been near spotless. Alisson Becker is the latest to join that list; the No. 1 of No. 1s in the Premier League. 

Also Read | Arsenal Legend Thierry Henry Backs Liverpool To Pull Off An 'Invincibles' Act

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