When the Liverpool team list dropped against Sheffield United at 19.00 on Saturday night, the fans were happily surprised when the Brazilian number 1 returned to the goal.
Alisson Becker gave the thumbs up, and that was the only signal Jürgen Klopp needed.
Alisson Becker was back in the Liverpool team on Saturday and his return came at just the right time.
Almost instantly, his name on the team roster calmed some nerves in a fan base that never seems to be too far away from core meltdown this season.
At a time when the champion is faced with the likelihood of a season without Virgil van Dijk, Alisson’s return came at just the right time.
After being initially predicted to be absent for the next four to six weeks at the beginning of the month, Alisson was back, ready to play in the Liverpool backline again.
Sign up HERE for the daily ECHO newsletter of Liverpool
If Van Dijk is irreplaceable in the background, Alisson is irreplaceable too.
The two have played a decisive role in turning an attacking team struggling for honor into a serious team that wins it.
“Adrian has done really well, but getting Ali back is obviously a pretty big, big boost for all of us,” said the Liverpool boss after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United.
So at a time when one player is out for months, it’s exactly what Klopp needed to get the other back.
“It’s been almost three weeks that he’s been out, and it feels like we’ve had 15 games in between!
But after the initial concerns about a shoulder operation had subsided, Alisson began to get back into shape quickly.
The Liverpool manager may have been prone to exaggeration on this occasion, but Alisson still missed four games during his three-week absence, at a time when there was also an international break.
A phone call to the Brazilian squad on Friday for the November games may have signaled a willingness to return to his club before Saturday night’s team news faded.
After returning home more strongly last weekend, Melwood’s staff were delighted with his ability to dive and fall during training without pain in the shoulder.
“I was really happy when he gave the green light and said ‘yes, I’m ready’ because it was his decision,” Klopp said.
“I can’t make the decision for him whether he feels pain when he hits the ground or whatever.
Discussions with the medical team, as has become common practice, indicated that Alisson would soon be able to strengthen Liverpool’s defense considerably.