Alisson being a fantastic goalkeeper isn’t exactly a secret, but the small details and technical brilliance which makes him the elite player he is can only be seen by those with him daily.
In recent weeks that would be limited to his closest family, who perhaps appreciate him for other reasons than safe handling and confident footwork!
But now that the Reds have begun training at Melwood once more, the coaches, manager and fellow players in the squad are again recognising the talent around them—and Alisson will be somewhere near the top of the list.
One who is thoroughly appreciating his good fortune at being involved with Brazil’s first-choice stopper is Andy Lonergan, Liverpool’s fourth-choice cover who has provided good training opposition this season and perhaps a good, albeit different, level of experience for the youngster goalkeepers at the club to look up to.
Speaking on the Legends in Lockdown show on LFCTV, Lonergan explained how he couldn’t make clear enough to fellow stoppers just how complete a No. 1 our Brazilian is.
“Me and Kirky [Chris Kirkland] speak about him with other goalkeepers and I say ‘However good you think he is, he is better than that,” he said.
“You watch him on a Saturday or in the Champions League and you think he is brilliant, but there’s just so much more to it than that. He’s technically the best.
“Everything he does is the best but his mentality and his sort of calmness… I can’t put into words how good he is. It’s just a joy to be part of the squad that he’s involved in.”
The mentality of Alisson, that iron-clad certainty about every move and action he takes, is something which has repeatedly come up over the past few years from those who work with him.
Recently, Melwood goalkeeper assistant coach Jack Robinson alluded to that coolness amid the “chaos” around him being Alisson’s defining trait: an ability to pick the right course of action, regardless of anyone else’s intentions to shoot, score, attack the ball or otherwise disrupt him.
Regardless of where fans think Alisson ranks in the category of ‘best’ Liverpool players, there’s definitely a case to be made for him being the most consistent performer since his arrival.
The only concern there this season has been over availability, with a number of injuries hampering the Brazilian’s appearance tally—but he’s back in training now, fit and looking sharp after his hip issues.
And Lonergan also revealed an interesting side note: that he has been paired with Ali in the smaller group sessions.
“There is me and Alisson and the two goalkeeper coaches on one pitch, four or five on the other and the other half of the squad come in an hour or two later.
“When everything has been cleaned up and disinfected, then they come in so that’s how it’s working at the moment.”
That suggests Adrian and Caoimhin Kelleher are working together, perhaps to help push the young Irish stopper and assess exactly where he ranks, in direct technical terms at least, against the goalkeeper one place above him in the current hierarchy.
Back at Melwood as they are, there’s no taking it easy now, as Lonergan revealed there has been “no settling in period, just straight into it,” as the Reds look to find top gear as quickly as possible.
Alisson being fit and ready to again show everyone why he’s the world’s No. 1, and not just Liverpool’s, is one of the club’s biggest positives to take from the knock-on effects caused by the unprecedented circumstances of the year.
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