Marcelo Pitaluga: Liverpool sign Brazilian goalkeeper
Liverpool have announced the signing of goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga from Fluminense.
The 17-year-old has joined the Reds on a permanent deal.
Pitaluga has reported for training today at Melwood, where he will immediately start working with the first-team.
Although he is expected to initially play for the club’s age-group sides, Alisson Becker’s injury and Adrian’s recent errors could see the youngster get senior experience sooner than expected.
Pitaluga was part of the Brazil squad that won the Under-17 World Cup last November, and Liverpool’s head of goalkeeping John Achterberg admitted that it was on a squad list for that tournament that the player first caught his eye.
Since then, former Liverpool midfielder Allan, who spent last year on loan at Fluminense, and Alisson’s brother Muriel, another Fluminense goalkeeper, have both provided informal scouting reports on the youngster.
Achterberg told Liverpool’s website: “I saw him for the first time in the World Cup squad. You’re checking all the goalies and looking at the ages.
“You see that he was in the World Cup squad one year younger than the rest of the squad, then you think that’s worth a look because normally you have two goalkeepers of the same age, but if you have someone who is a year younger you think he may have some good attributes.
“He was at Fluminense; we got some games to look at, all the other goalie coaches also look at it – Jack [Robinson] and the Academy coaches Mark [Morris] and Taff [Neil Edwards]. And, of course, I speak to the gaffer and the rest of the coaching department here.
“In Fluminense we had Allan [on loan], so I spoke to Julian [Ward, loan pathways and football partnerships manager] if he saw a little bit of him in training there. He saw him too and was also positive.
“I asked Ali to speak to his brother to see how it goes and how he is doing. Ali spoke to his brother and Ali went training there. We saw a little bit from the training and the games he was playing for the reserves in Brazil.
“He was already 16 playing in the reserve team there so you also think, they trust him to play already in the reserves at 16.”