Liverpool and manager Jürgen Klopp were so close to glory just a couple of months ago, making their way to the UEFA Champions League final versus Real Madrid. Their world-class attack was not able to deliver a victory, but the Reds will be confident in their future thanks to signing Roma goalkeeper Alisson.
The 25-year-old arrives at Anfield as the most expensive keeper in the world, thanks to a reported transfer fee of £66.9 million. The previous record was the £33 million paid by Juventus in 2001 to sign the legendary Gianluigi Buffon from Parma. It is an extraordinary sum of money, but Alisson is worth that for Liverpool at the moment.
Klopp has built his side into an attacking juggernaut, with a front-line capable of overwhelming any opposition on their day. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané form an impressive trident that can give defenders nightmares. With pace, skill and sharp passing, scoring goals is not a problem for Liverpool (they scored 84 goals in 38 Premier League matches last season).
They also spent big on defensive improvements as well, adding Virgil van Dijk this past January for £75 million (another world record, this time for a defender). Midfield issues were seen at times, but should produce consistently now that Naby Keita is in the team. All the pieces were in place for something very special on Merseyside, except for one position. Enter Alisson Becker.
Liverpool and Klopp were able to get a first-hand look at their new shot-stopper in the Champions League semi-finals, as the Reds battled Roma to a thrilling 7-6 aggregate victory. Goals were seen often in that tie, but Alisson had made a habit out of that being a rare occurrence. Until the meeting with Liverpool, Roma did not concede a goal at home throughout the 2017-18 Champions League competition.
With excellent instincts and superb vision, Alisson is able to put himself in the right positions to succeed. Young enough to continue to improve, Liverpool know that they have signed a true potential superstar at goalkeeper.
While the fee may seem extreme, this was a deal that needed to be made at this point. The inconsistencies (and blunders) of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius had caused too many frustrations, and it would not be wrong for some to assume that it was holding the team back. Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League table along with their run to the Champions League final, showcasing the depth and quality that Klopp has in his side.
On top of those elements at Anfield, Alisson was coming off a stellar campaign in Italy and enjoyed a strong outing with Brazil at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. All the stars were aligned, and transfer market prices are simply a reflection of what a club is willing to pay for a player.
Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp feel that they were a talented goalkeeper away from having a title-winning squad. Alisson Becker represented a unique opportunity to accomplish that. If he helps them to the top of England and Europe, he will be more than worth that massive transfer fee.