Number Six: Alisson Becker
Height: 1.91 m
Previous Club: Internacional
Current Club: Roma
Future Comparison: Tim Howard
Who Is He?
Alisson is a product of the Internacional youth system, first joining the traditional Brazilian power in 2002 at age ten. While Becker made his senior debut in 2013, he didn't start right away. He played the backup role, racking up four shutouts in 17 appearances over two seasons. In 2015 he had a breakout year though, recording 15 shutouts in 26 appearances on his way to becoming a fan favorite.
He also picked up his first nine international caps in 2015, playing for Brazil's B-team in the Copa America Centenario. While Brazil was shockingly bounced in the group stage of the competition and Alisson let in a howler in one of the matches,... at least he got international experience? It's tough to find a silver lining on that one. So how did he end up at Roma?
Roma battled Juventus for Alisson, and actually beat their Northern rivals to something for once; well, except for when Roma beat Juventus to Juan Manuel Iturbe a few seasons back, but in hindsight, that kind of blew up in their face like Daffy Duck. Roma only paid Internacional eight million euros for Becker, as he was reportedly in the last year of his contract.
What Can He Do?
As far as goalkeepers come, he's the complete package. While his career body of work isn't huge, it's impressive. Check out his Internacional highlight video below:
Wow, Brazilian defending is horrendous. See that sweet double save at 2:10 though? Bring back any memories of another Brazilian keeper against Lazio?
Alisson has solid distribution, is a presence in the box, has decent enough positioning, and makes great reflex saves. While he could improve his organization of the defense more, especially from dead ball situations, that's something that can easily be improved with experience and familiarity with the Italian language.
What Can He Become?
Hopefully a consistent starter. Roma has lacked a true quality goalkeeper for quite some time now given the 'ambitions' of the club. At only 23, Alisson could be the answer to Roma's goalkeeping woes. He's already good enough to start, and he still has time to improve even more before he reaches his prime. That's crazy.
Management has an affinity for flipping talented young players for a healthy profit, but they would be wise to let this one be. Alisson seems like a necessary building block for the future.