On Thursday evening, shortly after completing his medical, Alisson put pen to paper on Merseyside, signing a contract to make himself Liverpool’s new number one and become the most expensive goalkeeper in football history.
His £67 million transfer shattered the mark set last summer when Manchester City signed Ederson, the man Alisson keeps out of the Brazil team, for £35 million. Prior to that, the record had been held for a decade and a half by Italian superstar Gianluigi Buffon.
The size of the fee Liverpool agreed with Roma for Alisson may have been astonishing, but among the least shocked would have been the man who defended the Juventus net for so long.
When asked if Alisson’s performances for Roma last year had come as a surprise, Buffon replied, “Surprised with Alisson? Only people who don’t understand the position of goalkeeper would be surprised.”
Destined for the Top
Speaking to TV channel Mediaset, Buffon revealed that he had already been watching Alisson during his time in Brazil with Internacional.
“I have kept an eye on him for two or three years and I noticed the tranquillity with which he administers games and how he makes difficult saves look simple. He makes the defence and the team feel very secure.”
That might be an unusual feeling for the Liverpool back line in their first few games next season, but it will certainly be a welcome one. The Champions League final against Real Madrid in May was confirmation, if any of us needed it, that Loris Karius was not up to the task of keeping goal at the top level.
After 51 minutes, the German attempted to throw the ball out to restart play but was caught by Karim Benzema, who deflected the ball into the back of the net. Seven minutes from the end, he dropped another clanger, letting in a long-range Gareth Bale effort that looked easier to stop than not.
Liverpool’s obvious need to replace Karius, as well as the premium that all Premier League clubs are now subject to, contributed to the enormity of the fee that the Scousers paid for the Brazilian’s services.
But it could still represent a prudent purchase in the long-term. Transfer fees are on an upwards trajectory and have been since Neymar moved to Paris Saint Germain for almost £200 million last summer. Alisson is already one of the world’s best ‘keepers and, at just 25, could be the Reds’ number one for the next decade.