The Red faithful in the Transfer Tavern are feeling optimistic about their top-four aspirations this season, but they are worried that their side’s defensive frailties could prove costly to their European ambitions.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have lived up to their reputation this season by producing consistently inconsistent performances throughout all four competitions. There appears to be an inherent and fundamental problem at the club which is limiting Liverpool’s progress under the German, and the defensive unit has often been scapegoated for this apparent problem.
It’s difficult, if not impossible to argue with that assessment when Liverpool’s vast array of supremely talented attacking talent is taken into consideration, however, the problem is not as broad as pundits and supporters often like to make out.
Liverpool’s main stumbling block to success does not lie within the defence as a whole, but rather with the goalkeeper more specifically, as Lorius Karius and Simon Mignolet are both well below the standard that is required to mount a title challenge.
Every team is built on the foundations built by its defence, and without a solid goalkeeper, the foundations simply collapse. Ederson’s transfer to Man City is the most quintessential recent example which serves to emphasise this point.
Man City were simply atrocious at times last season with Claudio Bravo between the sticks, and his unnerving influence could be seen filtering into his back-four and contributing to mistakes all over the pitch. However, with Ederson in goal, City’s defenders look resolute, sturdy and confident, and there’s no doubt that the Brazilian goalkeeper recruited from Benfica is due a large portion of the credit for that.
With that being said, Liverpool simply must follow Man City’s lead and reinvest the funds accumulated from the sale of Coutinho in January to buy AS Roma goalkeeper Alisson (valued at £14.4 million by Transfermarkt) – a player who will restore confidence and consistency back into Liverpool’s defence.
So far this season, Alisson has recorded 10 clean sheets from 23 appearances in Serie A, and his shot-stopping masterclasses have earned Roma plenty of vital points against quality opposition.
Alisson possesses all of the attributes of a top goalkeeper, and his quality in this regard would complete a Liverpool defence that is so desperately in need of a calming influence in goal.
The fact Alisson has often been preferred to Ederson for the Brazilian national side speaks volumes, so Klopp must do everything he can to sign him next summer and make Liverpool’s most game-changing signing since they purchased Luis Suarez from Ajax in 2011.