Liverpool have come a very long way under Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015 but had a pretty rough first couple of months.
He could only lead them to an eighth-placed finish, finishing on 60 points and conceding 50 goals in 38 Premier League games.
Fast-forward to the current day and Liverpool are once again on 60 points.
Only this time, they’re only 23 games into the league campaign and sit top of the league by four points.
Oh, and they’ve conceded just 13 goals.
And it’s that defensive record that has been the biggest factor in Liverpool becoming title contenders.
Klopp probably can’t take too much credit for the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, while he probably didn’t know too much about Andy Robertson when the club snapped him up for £8 million.
But the German boss was so desperate to sign Virgil van Dijk that he was willing to wait six months to spend £75 million on him when the club failed to complete the deal in the summer of 2017.
And then there’s Alisson.
Loris Karius - who Klopp signed for £5 million - suffered a nightmare in the Champions League final last season which prompted the club to go out and sign Roma’s Alisson for £67 million.
At the time, it was a world-record fee for a goalkeeper but it’s since proved to be money very well spent.
While Liverpool fans have been impressed by his performances, it seems his Liverpool teammates were impressed immediately.
A report from Liverpool correspondent Melissa Reddy has recalled the first time Alisson met his new teammates and she painted the picture perfectly.
Liverpool were away on a pre-season tour in France when Alisson joined them following his transfer.
“At the end of July, Alisson’s introduction to Liverpool’s squad was made at the lower tier of the palatial Hotel Royal in Evian-les-Bains,” Reddy writes.
“There were gasps when the 26-year-old walked into the room, dotted with a few soft ‘f***ing hell’ mutterings. Awe and anticipation were present in equal measure, with a staffer revealing that the moment was reminiscent of Virgil van Dijk’s first day with the team.”
After years of goalkeeping problems with Simon Mignolet and Karius, everyone at Liverpool immediately knew Alisson would solve all of their previous troubles.
And that was just by seeing Alisson walk into the room…News Now - Sport News