Three-time European Cup winner Ray Clemence has hailed the impact of goalkeeper Alisson Becker to Liverpool's squad.
The Brazilian shot-stopper's introduction at Anfield was a big part of Liverpool's success this season, as the Reds boasted the meanest defence in the Premier League, and despite finishing second to champions Manchester City, the Merseyside outfit claimed their sixth Champions League title in the club's history.
The Liverpool Echo quoted Clemence as saying: "You always felt like Liverpool needed at least two goals to win a game in the season before last.
"At 1-0 you just thought they might concede but now if they go one in front they can win the game as they have proved."
Clemence proposes that Alisson is the reason for this turnaround, stating: "There is no questioning that Alisson has done extremely well, and made a huge difference to Liverpool’s defensive qualities.
"The club might have paid a lot of money for him, but that’s not the issue.
"He had to prove his worth irrespective of the size of the fee, and he has done that to such an extent that you would have to say that it has been money well spent.
"The hallmark of a great goalkeeper is not just about making great saves, but making important saves, vital saves, and that is what marks Alisson out as an exceptional goalkeeper worthy of the price.
"When you are 1-0 up or 1-0 down, whether in a narrow winning position or narrowly behind but still in the game, that is when you need your goalkeeper to keep you in the game, and that is what Alisson has done consistently.
"Technically, he has all the attributes of an outstanding goalkeeper, he is a great size, quick on his feet, and, as the modern game has changed so much where keepers have the ball at their feet more than they do in their hands, he is good with his feet.
“He commands his box and he commands the people around him.
"He has been a great signing and a great presence about him, to such an extent that even before the kick-off the opposition will look at him and think he will be difficult to beat, he just stands there and he looks big and strong and in control."
Clemence also hailed Alisson's ability to learn from his mistakes, adding: "When he did make a mistake against Leicester and got caught in possession, and you can’t expect things to go your way 100 per cent as a keeper, he learned from that error and he realised you cannot play too much or you might cost your side a goal.
“It’s always a good sign when a goalkeeper, or any player for that matter, is prepared to learn, as nobody should think they’ve cracked it in this game.
"No one is going to have a perfect season, but he controls the back four and along with Van Dijk has made such a big difference to the team.”
Source : 90min