Virgil van Dijk believes the arrival of Alisson Becker will help Liverpool achieve their objectives this season.
The Brazilian was a virtual spectator as he made his Premier League debut on Sunday, watching on as the Reds swept aside West Ham 4-0 at Anfield.
Recruited from Roma in a deal which could eventually cost £65 million ($83m), Alisson has been signed to bring calmness and presence, to make the No.1 role his in a way that neither Loris Karius nor Simon Mignolet have been able to do over the past two seasons.
And though it is still early days, and greater tests than West Ham lie in wait, Van Dijk believes the 25-year-old is already making a difference.
“Very good,” the Dutchman said when asked how Alisson had settled in on Merseyside. “We speak a lot. He’s very vocal and that helps. It helps me and everyone in the back line. I think his presence is very good as well.
“He has a lot of qualities on the ball that helps get us playing. We’ve worked on it the whole pre-season and we’ll keep practising. There’s still a lot to do.”
If Liverpool are to be successful this season, then both Alisson and Van Dijk are likely to play big roles. Jurgen Klopp believes his squad is “strong enough and wide enough” to challenge for major honours, and they have started the season well.
Van Dijk, though, is not getting too carried away.
“The most important thing is that we look at ourselves,” he said. “We know that right now we have a great squad. We have a lot of quality players. Everyone who plays for Liverpool has a lot of quality.
“It’s all about being consistent. We want to challenge for any competition. But we must look at ourselves.
“Of course we want to challenge. I do not feel any pressure in that case but we play every game to win, that’s how our mind-set is. Against West Ham our focus was good and now we recover before focusing on Crystal Palace, which is going to be a very tough game.”
He added: “It’s just one game. We had a good pre-season with good results and games where we’ve played very well.
“It was a very good performance, almost complete. Good goals, maybe we should have scored a bit more. Clean sheet, we kept it tight. Something to build on
“But we can do a lot better and it’s just the start. I think the key is we need to be very consistent and do it every game.”