Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri have received big compliments from two ex-Arsenal stars turned Sky Sports pundits ahead of the weekend’s clash.
Unai Emery’s Gunners host Jurgen Klopp’s Reds at the Emirates, with Liverpool knowing we probably need three points with our title rivals Manchester City at home to lowly Fulham – whose defence could well get pillaged by the in-form Sky Blues.
The pundits were asked to name their signing of the season so far and Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas named Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri respectively.
Interestingly, Liverpool legend Phil Thompson named an Arsenal signing in Lucas Torreira!
Here’s why they chose the Reds:
Charlie Nicholas – Alisson:
The Brazilian ‘keeper may not have been the best-performing signing on the face of it, but it’s about more than that – it’s about what the signing means for a team like Liverpool. They had a big need in that area and they went out and paid the money for one of the best around.
Yes, he’s got a mistake in him but every goalkeeper has, but you just look at Liverpool’s defence this season and you can point to Virgil van Dijk but you can’t underestimate how important it is to have a ‘keeper you trust behind you.
As far as important signings go, then Allison for Liverpool looks like the best one so far.
Paul Merson – Shaqiri:
It’s the first name that popped into my head, and I’ll probably be shot down because there’ll be others who have done more, but for the price Liverpool paid for him, and how he’s slotted in when they’ve given their regular front three a rest, I think he’s done very well.
You didn’t immediately think he would fit in with their system because his work-rate has been in question in the past, but he’s stepped up to it. He’s impressed me more than I thought he would with that, but I think it’s been good for him to work under Jurgen Klopp. You’ve seen him having a go at him when his levels have dropped and he’s responded and come up with some goals.
We agree with Nicholas in that Alisson has made an enormous difference, despite his mistake v Leicester.
Liverpool have conceded just four goals in the Premier League and his influence has been hugely responsible for this, along with our sublime backline, marshalled by Virgil van Dijk.
Merson seems to have somewhat plucked a name out of the air, but Shaqiri has been very good when selected!
Few Reds were excited about the Swiss playmaker’s acquisition, but he’s already proven them wrong.
If we use the 4-2-3-1 more regularly, Shaq will play week in, week out.