Everything you need to know about Liverpool-bound Marcelo Pitaluga
Liverpool have confirmed the signing of up-and-coming Brazilian goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga from Fluminense.
Signing a Brazilian goalkeeper has certainly worked in the past for Jurgen Klopp, so perhaps lightning can strike twice.
Pitaluga is still a teenager with time on his side to develop, and we’ve taken a closer look at the prospect Klopp will be hoping can emulate fellow countryman Alisson Becker.
Who is Marcelo Pitaluga
Still just 17, Pitaluga is yet to make his senior bow for Fluminense, although he has made the first-team bench twice.
He has featured for Brazil at U15, U16 and U17 levels and was part of the squad that won their fourth U17 title back in 2019, albeit he failed to make an appearance.
It was at that point Pitaluga came to the attention of Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg, who then scouted the player extensively, according to The Athletic.
Earlier this year, Pitaluga was the first-choice for Fluminense’s junior side in the Copa Sao Paulo. While they failed to make it out of the group stage, the goalkeeper excelled, producing some rather spectacular saves in the process.
An inch taller than his fellow countryman Alisson, Pitaluga still looks like a light breeze might knock him over at the moment. According to Sport Witness, the youngster is in the same mould as Alisson in terms of being comfortable with the ball at his feet but needs to improve his command of the penalty area when facing balls in the air.
Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga from Fluminense. The Reds will pay an initial sum of around £1million for the 17-year-old who has said his goodbyes to team-mates in Brazil. #awlive [liverpool echo] pic.twitter.com/tJIcWsFG9b
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) September 13, 2020
Pitaluga at Liverpool
According to reports in Brazil, Alisson’s brother Muriel – a professional goalkeeper himself – has been giving advice to Pitaluga. In fact, when Alisson went back to Brazil earlier this year, the three of them were pictured training together.
The Athletic’s Liverpool correspondent James Pearce has also reported that Alisson himself has been involved in assessing Pitaluga and gave the stopper a ringing endorsement to the Reds.
The teenager holds a German passport, making the deal much more straightforward for Liverpool to complete.
“I am very grateful to Fluminense,” Pitaluga. “I was 10 years at this club, from futsal, passing through [the youth ranks], until I reached the professional ranks.
“This opportunity that came up will be very important to me. It was a unique opportunity, mainly for having a European passport.”
He’s not going to be taking the gloves from Alisson any time soon, but he could very well be the heir apparent to the 27-year-old.