Liverpool coach who recommended Alisson ‘watching progress’ of promising goalkeeper

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The Liverpool goalkeeping coach who recommended Alisson Becker currently has his eyes on another potential star. John Achterberg’s relationship with South American ‘keeper Doni helped him pick up on Alisson’s rising reputation in Europe ahead of his £67million arrival in 2018.

Alisson caught the eye throughout his single season at AS Roma, helping them to the latter stages of the Champions League before Liverpool knocked them out en route to the final.

At the end of the campaign, Jurgen Klopp looked to replace Lorius Karius, and the Reds made him the then-most expensive goalkeeper in history.

Klopp targeted Alisson following a recommendation from Achterberg, who had been tracking the Brazilian’s progress.

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Achterberg has discussed the process he took to help Liverpool sign Alisson with the help of Doni.

He said: “Many years ago, it was Doni who told me that I should keep a close eye on a young keeper over in Brazil.

“He said, ‘Keep watching ­Alisson Becker – he’s got something’. So I tracked his career and watched him a lot when he was in Serie A with Roma. When the club was searching for a new keeper, his name came up.

“I’ve got no influence on our budgets, and I can’t decide which keeper we will bring in, but I do offer advice when it comes to keepers. And, when the time was right, I was happy to pass on what I knew.”


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After the success of Alisson, fans might be excited by Achterberg’s admission that he’s currently monitoring a promising goalkeeper in the Netherlands – Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow.

“The steps Feyenoord keeper Justin Bijlow is making at club level – and also with Holland – are good,” Achterberg explained.

“I speak to his goalkeeping coach at Feyenoord, Khalid ­Benlahsen, from time to time.

“I’m just saying that I’m watching his progress – I’m not saying that Liverpool should look at him.”

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Bijlow is a product of Feyenoord’s academy and starting appearing for the first team more regularly last season.

He has started the new campaign as manager Arne Slot’s first-choice stopper, playing a vital role in the Dutch Eredivisie and UEFA Europa Conference League so far.

Considering Alisson is still 29, and in his peak years, Klopp won’t be looking to replace him anytime soon.

Achterberg’s public interest in Bijlow is interesting and undoubtedly something that could affect Liverpool’s transfer dealing in the future.

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