Liverpool’s goalkeeping situation has been an issue for years but this transfer window could be when the Red’s finally sure up their defence.
Current number one Loris Karius has come under a lot of criticism after his blunders in the Champions League final against Real Madrid saw the Red’s fall agonisingly short of their sixth major European trophy.
Although the young German has definitely improved since his arrival from Mainz, the statistics suggest Liverpool should look to bring in a more proven product.
Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and AS Roma’s Alisson Becker are two of the big names linked with a move to Merseyside and LFC Transfer Room’s Caleb Radford and Anthony Stonelake debate who would be the better fit for the Reds.
Jan Oblak to be Liverpool’s next number one?
There are only a handful of truly world-class goalkeepers and Jan Oblak is arguably at the top of the list.
Liverpool’s goalkeeping situation has been a problem for close to a decade now and if they are serious about challenging for silverware, they would be wise to invest heavily in a keeper of Oblak’s ilk.
The Slovenian’s shot-stopping ability has seen his value skyrocket as of late and the Reds would have to fork out a whopping £89 million to pry him away from Atletico Madrid.
Is he worth paying a world record fee for? Abso-freaking-lutely.
He has won the award for La Liga’s best goalkeeper on three occasions and was a big reason for Atletico’s Europa League success.
Oblak managed 21 clean sheets in 34 appearances for Los Rojiblancosin in La Liga 2017-2018, making almost 2.5 saves per game according to Squawka.
Teammate Antoine Griezmann told Goal earlier this year that he considered Oblak the best number one in the world after his heroics in the Europa League.
“Jan is the best in the world at this time,” Griezmann said.
“Not because he’s my team-mate but because of the saves he makes, the points he wins us.
Liverpool need a leader at the back they can rely on to save them 10 – 15 points a season and Oblak is the ideal player to do that.
He is not perfect and his distribution certainly demands improvement but after consistently performing at a high level for a number of seasons he is a safer bet to succeed than Roma’s Alisson.
The case for Alisson Becker
First off, don’t listen to Caleb. He’s a mug.
Second, Roma’s Alisson Becker is Brazil’s main man between the sticks. He’s the bloke responsible for keeping Manchester City keeper Ederson on the sidelines, which is certainly no mean feat.
Alisson has been on Liverpool’s radar for months, well before we played AS Roma, in the Champions League semi-finals.
Much was made of his performance in that semi-final and many Liverpool fans considered him inadequate to take over for Loris Karius.
However, you have to consider the defensive unit he was playing behind at the time.
A defence that included Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus, with the latter seemingly having his legs in a knot every-time Mohamed Salah touched the ball.
Contrast that with the ever-improving Liverpool defence – the revolutionary Virgil van Dijk, the resurgent Dejan Lovren, the kid-superstar Trent Alexander-Arnold and the Scot Andy Robertson. That reads much better than many past Liverpool defences.
484 – The last time that Alisson conceded a goal with Brazil was back in September against Colombia; he is now on a run of 484 consecutive minutes without conceding a single goal for his country. Wall. pic.twitter.com/MlaOkdBlM3
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) June 11, 2018
Price-wise there’s little to separate Alisson from Oblak, with the Brazilian probably coming in at around £80m and Oblak only £9m more if his rumoured release clause is accurate.
But we have to look at factors beyond price and have to trust the club will do the same to fix the goalkeeping situation.
His ability to play with his feet, his insane distribution statistics and his incredible shot-stopping ability are what would make him one of the best goalkeepers to wear Liverpool colours.
The main reason Alisson sets himself apart from Oblak is how he suits Klopp’s system better.
The way that Jurgen Klopp thinks and his “it doesn’t matter if we concede three, we’ll score six” attitude would suit Alisson better.
Alisson’s 83% distribution accuracy suits Liverpool’s free-flowing attack better than Oblak’s 55%.
They are, however, closer in their more traditional goalkeeping stats – with Oblak managing 4.56 saves per goal compared to Alisson’s 3.41. If that doesn’t sound too impressive, consider Loris Karius’ 2 saves per goal this past season and Simon Mignolet’s 0.95.
Both keepers have an undeniable pedigree but it’s Alisson that would make the biggest difference to Liverpool’s goalkeeping situation right now. And it’s Alisson, Liverpool should break the bank over if they are serious about silverware next season.