When you think of the players the Liverpool supporters would least want to lose to injury, goalkeeper Alisson’s name is probably near the top of the list.
In terms of players who could be considered indispensable to the Reds, the Brazilian international is probably behind only star centre back Virgil van Dijk and talismanic attacker Mohamed Salah.
It was hugely unfortunate, then, to see the 26-year-old having to be substituted off with injury in the Reds’ 4-1 opening day victory over Norwich City on Friday night.
The former Roma man slipped while taking a goal kick in the first half at Anfield, hurting his calf in the process. A stretcher was brought on and it was looking extremely hairy for a couple of minutes, but he eventually left the pitch under his own power and was replaced by new signing Adrian.
The Spaniard has Premier League experience from his many years with West Ham United, of course, but the Liverpool fans will still have been concerned to see him thrust into first team action so soon.
They will have been loving former England international Stephen Warnock’s verdict on the 32-year-old. He said on BBC Radio 5 Live [09/08; 20:40]: “An exceptional goalkeeper, I don’t think there’s any taking away from that. A very, very good replacement [for Simon Mignolet].”
Adrian was certainly brought in as Mignolet’s replacement. He’s on Merseyside to serve as number two behind Alisson, but suddenly he has been forced into first team action.
The Spaniard responded well, making a number of impressive saves as the Canaries attempted to work their way back into the game. Could he have done better with Teemu Pukki’s goal? Perhaps, but that’s being very critical.
He may not be the ‘exceptional’ goalkeeper Warnock thinks he is, but the Liverpool fans will certainly be hoping that the Spaniard proves the former Red correct if Alisson faces any real time on the sidelines.