Alisson Becker – How the Premier League's best ever is behind Liverpool's strong start

Liverpool fans have been saying it for quite some time but rival fans are now beginning to jump on the bandwagon: Alisson Becker is the best goalkeeper in Premier League history.

He’s comfortably the best goalkeeper in the world, even if he wasn’t nominated for the Yashin Trophy. It is a flawed way to reward goalkeepers for performances anyway. More often than not, the nominees list is made up of shot-stoppers who were part of a successful team rather than a list of keepers who excelled individually.  This time around, a good World Cup showing put you in contention.

Given Brazil underwhelmed in Qatar and Liverpool struggled last term, Alisson, despite his exploits between the sticks for the Reds, was never going to make the cut.

We know he’s the best though.

The players know it too. During the recent EA FC 24 video, Ibrahima Konate called his number one the best in the world.

Yet he’s still underrated. We’re just seven matches into the 2023/24 campaign and Alisson has a highlight reel that some keepers fail to achieve during the duration of their careers.

In the controversial loss to Spurs on Saturday, the former Roma man made an incredible eight saves.

 The 31-year-old was given a pay rise in the summer and is now the third highest-paid player at the club. It was more than justified and you could even make an argument he deserves to be the highest-paid player given his performances between the sticks over recent years.

Alisson faced shots with an Expected Goals value of 2.22 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.  The own goal doesn’t count towards this as it isn’t classified as a shot, so, with this in mind, the Liverpool number one prevented 1.22 goals on the day.

READ MORE: Alisson breaks own record with sensational performance against Tottenham

There were two clear standout moments for the 61-cap international. He made a stunning save to thwart Heung-min Son and managed to get a fingertip to a curling James Maddison effort.

He’s doing this sort of thing on a weekly basis though. Against West Ham United last week, he palmed away a Tomas Soucek header that looked destined for the bottom corner. That was in the sixth minute of play and it kept the scoreline level.

Alisson Becker, ProShots

For a little context here, FotMob gave the Soucek effort an Expected Goals total of 0.06 but an Expected Goals on Target total of 0.64. The latter stat looks at where the effort goes on target. So the West Ham midfielder significantly improved this chance with his finish. It also highlights just how well Alisson did to keep it out.

A similar situation happened in the win over Aston Villa. At 2-0, Matty Cash connected with a header early on in the second half and it looked destined to be a goal. Alisson, somehow, got the ball away before it crossed the line. The Reds went on to win that game, at a canter, 3-0. Had that gone in, just three minutes into the second half, the entire match changes.

Then there was his showing against Newcastle United and the save he made to prevent Miguel Almiron’s volley from going in. It was one of seven stops he made at St James’ Park to keep Liverpool in that game and won him the Premier League's Save of the Month. No words or awards can do justice to how good it was.

Alisson also made four saves in games against Bournemouth and Chelsea. He’s actually ranked first in the Premier League this season when looking at save percentage with 81.8%. He’s the only goalkeeper to have a save percentage higher than 75%.

This metric alone flags two things. Firstly, it shows how exceptional Alisson is at his job. It also highlights how important he is to the Reds. Without him, this good start to the season would’ve been average, at best.

If this early season form is the norm for the remainder of the campaign, the Reds are going to be favourites for a top-four finish.

They could even put together a title challenge, that is if officials do their jobs correctly.

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