Former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has blamed Alisson’s rocky form this season on the absence of Dutch international defender Virgil van Dijk.
Mignolet says that van Dijk had a gigantic impact on Liverpool’s defence when he arrived at the club from Southampton in January 2018. The Belgian international claims Liverpool stopped conceding as many goals as soon as van Dijk became a regular in the side.
He adds that Alisson’s form has suffered as a result of van Dijk’s injury as it has taken some stability away from the defence in front of the Brazilian.
Speaking to De Tribune, as transcribed by Sporza, Mignolet responded to a question about Alisson’s recent displays this season. “That (Alisson’s form) will have several reasons.
“On the one hand, he has had a few injuries, but there is also the fact that they have been missing Virgil van Dijk for almost the whole season.
“That’s a chunk of stability that’s gone anyway. That was actually already a difference when I was there. Van Dijk came when I ended up on the bench.
“From the moment he started playing, we stopped goals. Liverpool with or without him is a huge difference, I think.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Being a goalkeeper is incredibly difficult as any mistake made tends to lead to a goal, given that they are the last line of the defence. If a striker misses a chance, they can quickly go and score their next one and then take all the glory, whilst if a goalkeeper makes an error for a goal and then makes a save, people may just remember the one that they let in.
Alisson has made three errors directly leading to goals in 27 Premier League appearances this season, having only made four in the previous 66 for the Reds. This suggests that more errors have been creeping into his game this season, but – as Mignolet explains – there have been extenuating circumstances for the shot-stopper.
Liverpool’s first-choice centre-backs Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have both been out injured for the majority of the season. This has led to a number of different centre-back pairings in front of Alisson, which could be the cause of some confusion at the back at times as they learn to play with different players and their styles of play. For example, a pass Alisson would play out to van Dijk may not be the same pass he should be playing to Nat Phillips, as the two players may have different ways they like to receive the ball at the back.
I’m a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.