Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme, the high-profile pundit explained how he has been blown away by the improvement in Jurgen Klopp’s back line over the last 12 months.
Neville said: “It’s been incredible – I’m really impressed. It’s been coming now for 12 months – but it’s not just [Virgil] van Dijk, like most people say.
“Alisson has saved Liverpool on numerous occasion this season; earned them big points. Great goalkeepers win you point after point after point after point. You don’t always notice it. So is Van Dijk the biggest impact on that team? No it’s not.
“Look at the stats: 86% save ratio – the highest in the league. Last season it was 64% (ranked 19th). Yes, the two young lads alongside Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are fantastic – and I love watching them play – but for me it’s the goalkeeper [Alisson] who has made all the difference and makes them genuine contenders.”
Huge praise from the influential Neville for Alisson, who’s brilliance had gone slightly under the radar compared to the magnificence of Van Dijk, the master and commander of the defence since swapping the comfort zone of Southampton for a career-defining move to Liverpool in January. The goalkeeper arrived from Roma in the summer for a fee only a few million less than the initial club-record £70million paid for the giant Dutchman and he has been outstanding. He has brought order to the last line of defence where his predecessors Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet brought chaos. The Brazilian number one has not been overworked, but what he does, he does brilliantly and super effectively. Crucial saves against Everton and Chelsea have won Liverpool points, and his concentration is such that he can flick the switch on and never be caught out. For good measure, Alisson is also brilliant on the ball and at distribution. What a signing.