Liverpool legend Ray Clemence believes the Reds defence has been transformed under Jurgen Klopp.

The German manager sanctioned the big-money signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker last year to bolster his team at the back.

The investments bore fruit earlier this month when Jordan Henderson lifted the Champions League trophy, and Clemence thinks goalkeeper Alisson in particular has made all the difference.

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 11: Alisson of Liverpool saves during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool and SSC Napoli at Anfield on December 11, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photograph: Craig Galloway/ProSports/Rex/Shutterstock)

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“There is no questioning that Alisson has done extremely well, and made a huge difference to Liverpool’s defensive qualities,” he said, as quoted by the Echo.

“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’s quotes were lifted from The Official Story of Liverpool’s 2018-2019 Season, set to be released tomorrow. You can pre-order it here.

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Freelance writer and passionate Liverpool supporter from Northern Ireland. Married to the beautiful Christine. YNWA.

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