Noel Whelan claims it is a “massive boost” to Liverpool to have goalkeeper Alisson ahead of schedule on his return from injury.

The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said that it was “imperative” that the 28-year-old returns “as quickly as possible” in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp revealed on Monday that the Brazil number one is “looking very good” as he steps up his recovery from a shoulder injury sustained earlier this month.

Alisson was joined on the sidelines by talismanic centre-half Virgil van Dijk this weekend after a high tackle from Jordan Pickford ruptured the Netherlands captain’s ACL.

Whelan insisted that Alisson’s return could not come quick enough for the Premier League champions.

“It is massive that he is ahead of schedule,” he told Football Insider.

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“Now that Virgil van Dijk is missing, it is imperative that you get Alisson back as quickly as possible.

“He is that second phase of play. Once it goes past the centre-halves it is so important that you have a goalkeeper that you can trust. We saw with Manchester City just how important a goalkeeper can be in a one-on-one situation.

“Adrian is not your number one. He is not somebody who has the same ability and control at the back.

“That is a massive boost and his return cannot come quick enough for Liverpool. It is invaluable to have a goalkeeper like that between the sticks.”

In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp has been told to sign ‘fantastic’ 29-yr-old in January to replace Virgil van Dijk.