Five Years Since Alisson Joined Liverpool, Man Utd Have Their Own Ball-Playing Keeper

On this day in 2018, Liverpool signed Alisson Becker
08:00, 19 Jul 2023

On this day in 2018, Liverpool completed the signing of Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker. At £66.8m, he was a monumental signing at the time, and for four weeks he was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, but he’s been worth his weight in gold ever since he first stepped through those Anfield gates. 

Using the Philippe Coutinho funds to buy Alisson and Virgil van Dijk is the smartest investment Jurgen Klopp has ever made. The transfer of the Brazilian goalkeeper changed the course of history and sparked a new era of success at Anfield. Five years on from Loris Karius losing his bearings in the Champions League final, they now have the finest goalkeeper in the world and that fateful final sparked Klopp into action in the transfer window. 

Alisson’s quality is now undeniable, but he joined the Premier League one year after Manchester City had signed Ederson. Together, the ball-playing keepers have changed how we view goalkeepers in this country and there is now an expectation that they are far more than shot-stoppers. 


It is no surprise that every Premier League since Ederson joined has been won by Manchester City or Liverpool. The very best teams in the country rely on a goalkeeper who won’t panic and boot the ball out of play, but instead pick a correct pass to launch an attack from deep. It’s significant that this five-year anniversary comes in the same week that Manchester United finally decided to bring in a goalkeeper to replace David De Gea. 

For all of the Spaniard’s qualities, and his loyalty to the club that hasn’t been repaid in the slightest, it has been clear for some time that he doesn’t fit the mould of a modern goalkeeper. His kicking is the weakest point of his game and, as a result, Manchester United have had to change the way they have played out from the back under Erik ten Hag. 


Andre Onana’s arrival for £43.9m may be the catalyst for them to progress to bigger and better things, just as Alisson's arrival sparked Liverpool on to Premier League and Champions League titles. We’ve seen with Ederson and Alisson just how impactful a top goalkeeper can be for the elite teams, while Arsenal’s success last term stemmed from the good form of Aaron Ramsdale. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s horror show of a season came for a number of reasons, but one was the fact that the most expensive goalkeeper in history, Kepa Arrizabalaga, turned out to be bad with his feet and his hands and Edouard Mendy couldn’t hold down his place in the team. To be a modern goalkeeper, you have to be immensely confident, verging on insane.  

You can be composed, but you must have the ability to pick one of your own players out with a long pass. Arguably, an upgrade in the goalkeeper position can have a bigger impact on a team than any other player on the pitch. Ten Hag will certainly hope so as his side looked to build on the top-four finish and Carabao Cup win they achieved last term.

But can he replicate Alisson, and turn a good team into a great one? Since joining Liverpool the Brazilian has picked up two Premier League Golden Glove awards, one league title, one FA Cup, one League Cup, one Club World Cup and one Champions League title. Not a bad trophy collection, and Liverpool came so close to completing the quadruple in 2021-22. 

Alisson’s arrival was a pivotal transformation point for Liverpool, just as Ederson’s was for Manchester City. Now Manchester United will be hoping their new number one can also take them back to the top of English football. 

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