Champions League Semi-Final Could Be An Audition For Liverpool Target Alisson

Since regaining Liverpool’s number one jersey back in December, many have felt that Loris Karius could solve the Reds goalkeeping conundrum after all.

The German kept a vital cleansheet in the first leg win over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League last week and he produced a wonderful save to keep out Yannick Bolasie in the Premier League draw with Merseyside rivals Everton last weekend.

Yet in the second leg against City, Karius once again looked nervy and uncomfortable especially when crosses came into his area. He consistently came out to punch the ball and if he’s not going to clear his own box then that becomes an advantage for the opposing team. His distribution, especially in long passes to spring fast counter attacks, isn’t the best either.

Now in fairness to the twenty-four year old, he has kept thirteen cleansheets in his twenty-five appearances this term, and he’s also a terrific shot stopper. He has gained confidence this season and his performances have improved because of that. It will help that the defence has looked stronger since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk in January.

For me, I think Loris has between now and the end of the season to prove himself as being the man to keep hold of the number one spot. Key to that could and probably will be the Champions League semi-final ties that will start later on this month.

If Karius can produce match winning displays or at least show confidence and a consistency that helps his side, then I think he’ll be Jurgen Klopp’s regular starter for next season. If he struggles, or once again fails to command his penalty area and can’t dominate proceedings, then once again questions will be asked and maybe Klopp will bite the bullet and sign a truly top class shot stopper.

One name that’s already been linked with a move to Anfield is Roma keeper Alisson.

Roma, like Liverpool, stunned the footballing world when they knocked the heavily fancied FC Barcelona out of Europe’s elite club competition. impressively Alisson managed to keep out Lionel Messi and Co in the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

The goalie is also Brazil’s number one and that means that he’s keeping Manchester City’s Ederson out of the starting line-up. No mean feat when you consider the form Ederson has been in since has arrival in England, the Brazilian has been one of many City success stories during this campaign. Twenty-five year old Alisson looks set to play for his country during the summer’s World Cup. In his last two outings for Seleção, he’s managed to keep a cleansheet in both games. 

For his club. the goalkeeper has kept a total of eighteen cleansheets during this campaign. Some of those have come in big games against the likes of Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk. As well as helping AS Roma to a semi-final spot in the Champions League, Alisson has also helped guide his side to third spot in Serie A.

Unlike Karius, Alisson can start better counter attacks with his accurate long passing style. That would be great for talented pacy outlets like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino!

The Brazilian is also great in one on one situations, can read the game well and has great concentration levels.

A possible drawback could be that the Giallorossi reportedly won’t entertain any bid unless it’s in excess of €60m. Liverpool did splash out a record fee for Van Dijk in the winter transfer window, so they’ve proven that they’ll spend big on the right player.

The Reds would also probably face a fierce battle with other top clubs throughout Europe for the keeper’s signature.

If anyone has any doubts about the Brazilian international, then they should know that Italian legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said this about Alisson earlier in the year:

“Alisson is a surprise only for those who haven’t seen him before,”  

“What really strikes me is how he deals with dangerous situations so efficiently.

“That gives his team a lot of confidence.”

The upcoming Champions League semi-finals could decide the futures of Alisson and Loris Karius. You could say it’s there audition to prove they are ready to be classed as top goalkeepers!



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