Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville has claimed that Liverpool's Alisson Becker has made a bigger impact on the club's performance this season than Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.
Alisson was signed in the summer from Roma for £67m, just short of Liverpool's record transfer fee of £75m for Van Dijk. The Brazilian has since brought order and composure to Liverpool's goal, where before there was chaos under predecessors Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.
When speaking on Monday Night Football, Neville remarked on Liverpool's impressive defensive transformation over the last 12 months from a team who consistently conceded, to the most organised defence in the League.
Neville said: "It’s been incredible – I’m really impressed. It’s been coming now for 12 months – but it’s not just Van Dijk, like most people say.
"Alisson has saved Liverpool on numerous occasion this season; earned them big points. Great goalkeepers win you point after point after point after point. You don’t always notice it. So is Van Dijk the biggest impact on that team? No it’s not.
“Look at the stats: 86% save ratio – the highest in the league. Last season it was 64% (ranked 19th). Yes, the two young lads alongside Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are fantastic – and I love watching them play – but for me it’s the goalkeeper Alisson who has made all the difference and makes them genuine contenders.”
Alisson's brilliance has been swept under the radar slightly because of the back four in front of him, but the Brazilian has been ready to make important saves when called upon.
Neville's comments that Liverpool are now genuine contenders for the title won't come as much of a surprise as they currently sit top of the Premier League.
However, they face a crunch match with Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday night that will determine their Champions League future this season.