What the Liverpool squad believes is being ‘overlooked’ as Alisson drops a future hint

Virgil van Dijk has spoken about Alisson Becker’s unseen impact after the Liverpool goalkeeper reached a new milestone

On Saturday, it wasn’t just Mohamed Salah who was celebrating a century at Anfield.


As the Egyptian scored his 100th home goal for Liverpool, Alisson Becker quietly reached a similar milestone of clean sheets since joining the Reds almost five years ago.

In a turbulent season for Jurgen Klopp’s side, the consistently impressive form of their Brazilian goalkeeper has been a reassuring constant, his saves ensuring Liverpool still has an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League with three games remaining.

With his second shut-out in four days, Alisson could yet win at least a share of the Premier League Golden Gloves award for the third time, as he is only two points behind Manchester United’s David de Gea.

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk, on the other hand, has highlighted how Alisson’s worth to Liverpool extends beyond the confines of his 18-yard box.

“That’s the most important quality, how he is as a person and how important he is to the group,” the Dutchman says. “Obviously, his qualities are visible on the field – his contribution, saves, leadership, all of that is very important.”

“But his qualities off the field are just as important.” He is a huge leader in the group, and many players look up to him. He serves as an example for many players, particularly goalkeepers. I’m glad he’s my goalkeeper, and we’ve had a lot of success together. Obviously, this (100 clean sheets) is a big milestone for him, and hopefully there will be many more.”

Klopp has long acknowledged Alisson’s influence, with the goalkeeper following Van Dijk as part of the Liverpool squad’s “leadership group.”

Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk
Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk

The Brazilian is only the seventh Reds goalkeeper to keep 100 clean sheets – David James has 102 – with only Ray Clemence and Pepe Reina having a higher percentage of shut-outs to games played, with Alisson reaching his milestone in 229 starts.

For his part, the goalkeeper is hoping to stay at Liverpool long enough to accomplish more. “I’m not sure how much it means, 100, but I’m hoping to reach 200, 300, as many as possible,” Alisson says. “But this isn’t just a number from myself; it’s a number from all the boys, from all the staff, from the goalkeeping coach department, from everyone.” We collaborate with a common goal in mind, and a clean sheet is one of those goals.”

Alisson has made more accurate short passes per Premier League game this season than any other regular starting goalkeeper, and Van Dijk believes the 30-year-old’s ability on the ball is often overlooked.

“It’s critical to have a goalkeeper you can rely on,” he says. “Most of the time, the attack starts with him, that’s just how it is.” Perhaps this is sometimes overlooked. He also has the highest risk factor in the team; if he makes a mistake, it is a goal.

van Dijk
van Dijk

“It’s that feeling of doing it all together that we have.” That is the foundation. He’d probably say that this (100 clean sheets) would not be possible without the boys in front of him and the midfielders and strikers doing their jobs. Everyone is a part of it, but he should be especially proud of it.”

With more than a week until their next game against Leicester City, the Liverpool squad and coaching staff left for a short break in Barcelona on Sunday ahead of the final three weeks of the season.

Liverpool have now kept three consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time in more than a year, with a sixth consecutive win strengthening their grip on a Europa League spot at the very least.

When asked if the Reds were back to their best as a defensive unit, Van Dijk says, “Let’s hope so.” We put in a lot of effort. You saw it against Brentford and in the last couple of games: our commitment and reaction when we lost the ball are crucial.


“It’s critical to get the ball back and win challenges, and while there’s still room for improvement, winning six games in a row is unprecedented this season.” But let’s just keep going and enjoy the moment, hoping to carry it into next season and have a very good season.

“We know when things need to improve, and as a team, that was pretty obvious this season.” That’s how we operate. You have to try to block out the noise, put your head down, and work, which is exactly what we are doing. That’s what I did, what the other players are doing, and it’s the only way we’ll get back to where we feel we belong.”

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