Liverpool are in a spot of bother after just one game into the new season, as Alisson’s injury places a lot of pressure on the team in the opening few weeks of the season. The Brazilian goalkeeper picked up an injury in the 4-1 victory over Norwich City on Friday night. The calf injury is expected to be less serious than initially feared, but it is still expected to keep out the goalkeeper for four weeks or more.
Alisson was a huge factor in getting Liverpool to the Champions League success last season. He is the type of goalkeeper who can easily add 15 points to a club’s tally over the course of a domestic campaign. His numerous saves and lack of high profile errors were a crucial factor behind Liverpool recovering from the catastrophic campaigns when Simon Mignolet was in goal.
The numbers between Alisson and Mignolet are huge. The former had a remarkable 76 saves, 17 punches, 212 throwouts, and 21 clean sheets in the 18/19 campaign compared to the figures from Mignolet, which stand at 36 saves, 8 punches, 102 throwouts, and 7 clean sheets in the 17/18 season. Undoubtedly, these were a significant factor in helping Liverpool make-up 22 points in the 18/19 campaign compared to the previous season.
The immediate blow for Liverpool will be felt during the Super Cup game against Chelsea in Istanbul. The Reds take on the Europa League winners in this crucial match at the Vodafone Park.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the Brazilian is suffering from an injury but it may not be as serious as initially thought. According to Liverpool’s official site, he said:
“There is actually nothing bad to say about the game apart from Ali’s injury. That is, of course, not good for us, but we have to see how serious it is and then we have to deal with it.
“It’s the calf and that’s it. He couldn’t carry on, that’s not a good sign. We have to see.”
It is expected that Adrian, who replaced Alisson in the game against Norwich, is expected to continue between the sticks for the next few games. Meanwhile, the club are also reportedly considering bringing in a goalkeeper on a short-term basis. Former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Andy Lonergan is still without a club after leaving the Riverside Stadium at the end of last season. He is available on a free transfer and the 35-year-old has reasonable experience of the English game. The well-travelled Preston youth team product has featured for the likes of Leeds, Fulham, and Wolves in the past.
Caoimhin Kelleher is the third choice goalkeeper at Liverpool, but he has not yet recovered completely after picking up a broken wrist during the pre-season games.
Klopp initially suggested that the injury was not good and that the player would spend around eight weeks on the sidelines. However, the exact time will become clear next week but the player is now expected to spend only four weeks on the sidelines. This should not be a huge issue for the Reds, but there are some crucial games between now and the first international break. He did spend a reasonable chunk of the pre-season with the Reds and a short-term deal seems highly likely.
Liverpool play Chelsea twice and Arsenal once before the end of September. This will be followed by a string of games against Manchester United, Spurs, and Manchester City in October and early November.