Liverpool have benefitted massively from signing Alisson and the man who initially recommended the now Liverpool No 1 has earmarked another potential superstar
Jurgen Klopp benefited from the Brotherhood of Anfield when he signed Alisson Becker.
The Reds boss added a vital piece of his title-winning jigsaw with the Brazilian’s arrival – but he was pointed in the right direction by a surprising source.
The recommendation came via Liverpool ’s goalkeeping coach John Achterberg, who had used the club’s network to good effect.
The Dutchman had stayed in touch with Alisson’s fellow South American shot-stopper Doni, who enjoyed a brief cameo between the sticks a decade ago.
And it was because of the relationship between the pair that the Reds coach was made aware of Becker’s growing reputation.
Credit – Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Achterberg revealed: “Many years ago, it was Doni who told me that I should keep a close eye on a young keeper over in Brazil.
“He said, ‘Keep watching Alisson Becker – he’s got something’.
“So I tracked his career and watched him a lot when he was in Serie A with Roma.
“When the club was searching for a new keeper, his name came up.
“I’ve got no influence on our budgets and I can’t decide which keeper we will bring in, but I do offer advice when it comes to keepers.
“And, when the time was right, I was happy to pass on what I knew.” The relationship with Doni, who played just a few games for the Reds back in 2011, bore rich rewards – particularly as the keeper retired from the game after suffering a heart attack.
And Achterberg says Allison has had his eyes opened since arriving from Serie A three-and-a-half years ago.
He said: “The difference between the Premier League and others around the world is that we train at a much higher pace.
“Everything we do has to be like it is in the Premier League, at the highest speed possible and with the biggest power.
“In other countries, keepers will be tested in training with average shots.
“If you keep firing the balls at a keeper at five miles per hour, they will get used to it.
“In matches, any keeper can handle shots like that.
“But balls fly at them at 70mph in the Premier League. Can they still have the same reactions? No, certainly they won’t. That’s something we work on, every day.
“In England, you need to rule in every level of your job as a keeper. They expect so much more.
“For example, in Holland they think it’s important that a keeper is good with his feet and he can build up play from the back, like a defender.
“But the Premier League is completely different.”
It is Achterberg’s job to maintain the watchful eye on any potential successors to Alisson, even though he has a long-term Reds deal.
He said: “The steps Feyenoord keeper Justin Bijlow is making at club level – and also with Holland – are good.
“I speak to his goalkeeping coach at Feyenoord, Khalid Benlahsen, from time to time.
“I’m just saying that I’m watching his progress – I’m not saying that Liverpool should look at him.”
Not yet, anyway.