Allison vs Ederson
Loris Karius cut a forlorn figure in Kiev as Real Madrid lifted the Champions League trophy for the third time in a row. The young ‘keeper had just put in one of the worst performances of any ‘keeper in Champions League final history. His wayward throw hit Benzema to open the scoring, and he then spooned a speculative Gareth Bale shot into the back of his own net.
Liverpool’s season last year was characterised by problems between the sticks as Jurgen Klopp swapped between Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius. The Champions League Final was the last straw for Karius, as Klopp went out and signed Allison from Roma for £67 million in the summer.
In this article we look at the similarities between Liverpool’s new shot-stopper and Manchester City ‘keeper Ederson, and analysing whether Allison can have the same impact at Anfield that Ederson did at the Etihad.
How Ederson transformed Manchester City
The towering Brazlian number 2 joined Pep Guardiola’s City side in the summer of 2017, and was seen as the man to finally end the problems between the sticks at the Etihad. Joe Hart had being bombed out by Pep Guardiola the previous season, and his replacement Claudio Bravo made several high-profile mistakes.
Ederson’s commanding presence and shot-stopping ability were key to Man City’s improvements last season and gave the City defence an added steel and stability. The key attribute that attracted Guardiola to him was his ability to play out from the back and kickstart attacks.
Last week Manchester City thumped Huddersfield Town 6-1, but the most important goal, the opener, was made by Ederson. David Wagner instructed his team to man-mark the Champions when Ederson had the ball at his feet. A tactic that worked well in their 0-0 draw at the Etihad in the previous campaign.
This time however, Ederson bypassed the entire Huddersfield defence with a raking 60-yard pass to set up Sergio Aguero for the first goal of the game. His assists was reminiscent of a Stevie G pass, and demonstrated just why Guardiola went for him. The impact he had last season was clear, helping Manchester City to win the league at a canter. Last season’s dominance has ensured that the bookies view them as clear favourites for the 2018/2019 season.
How does Allison compare?
Well firstly, it’s important to remember that Allison claimed the number 1 jersey for his country Brazil, keeping Ederson on the bench. Brazilian coach Tite clearly rates him higher than the Manchester City man.
Allison is a player equally comfortable with the ball at his feet, during his time at Roma he was used as a quarter-back to kickstart attacks. Lofted balls into full-backs and spectacular passes to forwards were regular traits of his time in Italy. Allison’s pass accuracy in Serie A was 10% higher than Mignolet’s in the Premier League last season.
The one area that puts Allison ahead of his rivals though is his shot-stopping. In Serie A last term he made 3.83 saves per goal, almost three times better than Simon Mignolet and almost twice as good as Ederson.
The new Liverpool ‘keeper may not have the passing range of Ederson, but he’s not far behind with his feet, and he is certainly ahead of the City stopper when it comes to reflexes and shot-stopping.
What impact will Allison have at Anfield?
A massive one. In a tough fixture at Selhurst Park, Allison stood up well to the pressure put on him by Crystal Palace’s direct style of play and his influence is clear to see on the defence. Virgil Van-Dijk partnered Joe Gomez in the heart of the Liverpool defence, and the embryonic partnership knew they could rely on their number 1, something that could not have been said last season.
The Reds attack and midfield is solid, with the defence improving and Allison representing a massive upgrade between the sticks, Liverpool could have a real chance at beating Manchester City to the Premier League trophy this season.