Man United can't match Liverpool's 'transformer', Erik ten Hag follows Jürgen Klopp's transfer leader -

Man United can’t match Liverpool’s ‘transformer’, Erik ten Hag follows Jürgen Klopp’s transfer leader –

Liverpool supporters should now be able to relate to Manchester United supporters. In 2018, after years of seeing Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius as first-choice options at Anfield, the Reds finally moved to upgrade their goalkeeping department using the transfer market.

The former had been at Merseyside for five years at that point and the latter had joined Liverpool in 2016, failing to demonstrate the quality required to deliver silverware at the highest level. Both players, but Mignolet in particular, struggled to contribute when passing from behind.

The pair weren’t too comfortable in possession, and that limited what Jürgen Klopp could do with his team. Liverpool wanted an elite shot-stopper, but one that could also control the ball with his feet and provide distribution skills for his team-mates, which is why Alisson Becker was right at the top of Klopp’s shortlist.

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The South American goalkeeper just experienced a strong campaign between the sticks for AS Roma and was technically typically Brazilian. Alisson was comfortable in possession of the ball, even daring to display the odd skill when facing an opponent.

Liverpool made the bold decision to break a world record to bring Brazil’s number one goalkeeper to England’s shores, paying $95m (£75m/€87m) to get his signature. He was labeled a ‘transformational’ addition. It was a transfer that just had to be a success and since then no one has looked back and Alisson has proven to be worth every penny.

As well as portraying himself as the best shot-stopper on the continent, he has made a huge difference to Liverpool’s ability to build moves through the third of the pitch. In fact, he has even managed to provide three assists in the Premier League and score a goal at the same time.

Alisson gives Liverpool control from the back, which is what Manchester United are currently looking for. The Red Devils appear to be on the hunt for a new goalkeeper, while David de Gea’s future currently remains uncertain after his contract expired.

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According to The Athletic, the Spaniard signed a contract extension with Manchester United – agreeing to a drastic cut in his wages – after which the club pulled out of the agreed proposal. He has now been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia this summer, with Erik ten Hag keen to employ a goalkeeper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet.

De Gea is a solid contributor at Old Trafford, but when expected to get involved in passes he regularly falls short of the required level. Liverpool’s historic rival is looking to deliver its own Alisson-esque upgrade, with Inter Milan’s André Onana and Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow among the names linked.

It remains to be seen what will happen in Manchester before the start of the new season, but Ten Hag will be lucky if he manages to sign a goalkeeper even close to Alisson’s level. The 30-year-old Reds goalkeeper is as complete as it gets, combining shot-shopping skills, superb quality and expert distribution to establish himself as the best in the world right now.

Manchester United are right to upgrade De Gea, but Ten Hag is about to find out how difficult it is to secure the services of a truly elite goalkeeper.

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