Liverpool supporters have been more upbeat in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their team get back to winning ways courtesy of a routine 3-0 success over Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash in Yorkshire having lost their last two games to Swansea City and West Brom, the latter knocking them out of the FA Cup at the weekend as the Reds suffered a third successive fourth round exit. However, normal service was resumed on Tuesday night as goals from Emre Can, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah secured a comfortable victory for the Merseyside giants, who benefited from Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth on Wednesday to move above the Blues on goal difference into third place in the Premier League.
Subsequently, there have been many delighted Liverpudlians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom have been looking back and discussing their team’s efforts in the January transfer window, which closed at 11pm on Wednesday.
And while the Reds strengthened their defensive options with the signing of Virgil van Dijk, they were unable to lure Roma goalkeeper Alisson to Anfield, despite reportedly launching a bid for the 25-year-old earlier this week.
And failure to land the £14.4 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) could have huge consequences for the Reds in the second half of the season, namely that they might well miss out on qualification for next term’s Champions League as a result.
Ultimately, Klopp’s men may well be third in the Premier League table but they are just two points clear of fifth place Tottenham, whose fine 2-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday night suggests that they will take the race for a top four spot right down to the wire.
And with it likely to come down to just a few points here and there, Liverpool need a goalkeeper capable of securing them those points, yet neither Loris Karius or Simon Mignolet have convinced that they are the men to do just that.
Both keepers are decent shot-stoppers but neither have great command of their penalty area, while there is always a mistake in both of them – quite simply, they aren’t at the level of United’s David De Gea, Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, or Spurs’ Hugo Lloris.
Those aforementioned trio are likely to earn their respective sides a few points between now and the end of the season, whereas between Karius and Mignolet, not only are they unlikely to do that, but they may well cost the Reds valuable points.
And that is why they needed to get a deal done for Alisson last month.
The 25-year-old must be doing something right to retain the number one jersey for Brazil, despite the outstanding efforts of Manchester City’s Ederson this season, and it’s clear to see exactly why as the Roma keeper has kept 23 clean sheets in just 56 games for the club, in which time he has shipped only 59 goals.
And given the influence his compatriot Ederson has had at City this term, arguably a bigger influence than anybody else, there’s no reason why Alisson wouldn’t do the same at Liverpool, which would immediately make them a much tougher and better proposition.
The race for the top four is very tight and looks set to go down to the wire – ultimately, Liverpool cannot afford too many slip-ups between now and May if they are to be playing in Europe’s elite competition next term.
Yet a slip-up is always around the corner for either Karius or Mignolet, which is why their failure to land Alisson could cost them a place in this season’s top four.
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