Liverpool have made Alisson Ramses Becker the most expensive goalkeeper of all time after signing the Brazilian international for £66.8m from AS Roma.
The 25-year-old shot-stopper is the Reds’ fourth signing of this transfer window after the captures of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri, and the move takes Jurgen Klopp’s summer spending well past the £150m mark.
Alisson has been priced up at £5.5m in Fantasy Premier League, half a million more expensive than fellow Liverpool goalkeepers Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.
The Brazil number one, who played at this summer’s World Cup, falls into the same premium bracket as Hugo Lloris, Ederson and Thibaut Courtois, with only David de Gea (£6.0m) a more expensive goalkeeping option in FPL.
Klopp said of his latest big-money capture:
There was a world-class goalkeeper on the market, and the club gave us the opportunity to sign him.
Of course, for a long time it’s been clear that Alisson is a top-class goalkeeper, but there was never a real chance to do it. This year there was the chance.
We have three outstanding goalkeepers and two very young and very talented goalkeepers but we need that, so I’m happy about that.
While Klopp is diplomatic in his quotes regarding Karius and Mignolet’s abilities, there is no doubt that Alisson will usurp his two rivals for the Liverpool goalkeeper’s jersey next season.
With Andrew Robertson (£6.0m), Virgil van Dijk (£6.0m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.0m) offering the possibility of attacking returns to go with potential clean sheet points, Fantasy managers might consider the Brazilian goalkeeper a less appealing route into the Liverpool backline.
Unlike the Reds’ two full-backs, however, Alisson is likely to be rotation-proof and comes in at £0.5m cheaper than van Dijk, who, it should be said, failed to score in the league last season.
Born in Novo Hamburgo in southern Brazil in October 1992, Alisson spent his youth career with Internacional, progressing through the Brazilian giants’ ranks and into their first-team squad.
Initially a back-up to his brother, Muriel, Alisson made his senior debut in February 2013. The 2015 season saw Alisson finally establish himself in the starting XI (keeping 15 clean sheets in 26 league appearances) and indeed make his international bow with Brazil in a World Cup qualification match against Venezuela.
After 44 league starts and 115 overall appearances for Internacional (winning the domestic league title in each of his four seasons with the club), Alisson departed for Roma in July 2016.
I Giallorossi‘s new €7.5m signing didn’t make a single Serie A appearance in his first season in the Italian capital, however, playing understudy to Wojciech Szczesny and only featuring in the domestic cup and European competition.
Szczesny’s departure for Juventus at the beginning of last season paved the way for Alisson to make 37 Serie A and 12 UEFA Champions League starts in 2017/18, with the Brazilian custodian keeping 17 league clean sheets and conceding just 28 Italian top-flight goals.
Alisson, indeed, came up against his future employers in the Champions League semi-finals, as Roma narrowly fell to a 6-7 aggregate loss to Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Alisson’s underlying goalkeeping statistics bring to mind David de Gea’s excellent performances for Manchester United last season. Both goalkeepers played 3,330 minutes of league football and conceded 28 goals, with de Gea recording just one more shut-out than Alisson managed (18) – no other Premier League goalkeeper could better Alisson’s clean sheet count.
The United custodian registered nine more saves than Alisson (who made 107 stops), meanwhile. Alisson’s save percentage of 79.3%, the best in Serie A, was only bettered by de Gea among first-choice Premier League goalkeepers last season. Karius and Mignolet’s save percentages, by contrast, were a more modest 68.9% and 61.0% respectively.
De Gea and Nick Pope were the only Premier League goalkeepers with a better “expected goals (xG) prevented” total than Alisson, who saved a net total of eight shots that he was expected to concede.
Alisson also made more stops in the UEFA Champions League (46) in 2017/18 than any other goalkeeper.
The Brazilian’s ability to help improve his sides’ defensive record was evident in Serie A last season; Alisson conceded ten fewer goals than Szczesny had shipped in the previous campaign and kept four more clean sheets.
Liverpool fans still having nightmares about Real Madrid’s opening goal in the Champions League final will be heartened to hear that Alisson is regarded as being as adept on the ball as he is saving it.
Their new sweeper-keeper rushed off his line to clear the ball more than twice as many times (41) as the next-most involved Serie A custodian and completed three times as many dribbles (six) than any other shot-stopper in the Italian top tier. A passing accuracy of 79% was over 10% better than Karius’s success rate, too.
Liverpool’s defence markedly improved last season, conceding the fewest amount of goals (38) in a single campaign since 2009/10. The Reds’ defensive record at Anfield was particularly impressive, with only ten goals conceded and 12 clean sheets registered (out of a total of 17) across the season.
The signing of Virgil van Dijk in January was significant, with Klopp’s side recording more shut-outs from the Dutch centre-back’s debut in Gameweek 24 onwards than any other Premier League side.
With van Dijk stationed in front of him and Liverpool’s defence in general showing signs of improvement last season, the signs are positive for Alisson’s debut campaign as an FPL asset.
The Reds have home matches against West Ham United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton in the first six Gameweeks and investment in the Liverpool side during the first few months of the season looks essential. With Fantasy managers only allowed a maximum of three players from one club, and the likes of Robertson, van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to factor into our thoughts, Alisson faces a tough task to worm his way into our FPL squads.
Given the Brazilian’s underlying statistics at Roma, however, Alisson could threaten de Gea’s status as the go-to premium goalkeeping option – and costs half a million less. Even those overlooking the Brazilian international will surely feel more confident about the clean sheet prospects of van Dijk, Robertson et al, knowing that they have a more-than-competent shot-stopper playing behind them.
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