Liverpool’s fourth and newest summer signing Marcelo Pitaluga has posted a picture on social media of himself training in red colours for the first time since his signing was announced earlier this month.
Pitaluga, 17 was signed from Brazilian outfit Fluminese and has been tipped as the long-term successor to Liverpool’s No.1 and fellow countryman Alisson Becker.
He was part of the Brazil squad that won the FIFA U17 World Cup on home soil last November.
Pitaluga was then named on the bench for two Fluminense fixtures in Serie A last season and he has worked with Alisson’s brother, Muriel, at the Brazilian side.
He has since begun his training duties with his new club side at Melwood, where he will be based with the first-team group, alongside playing for the club’s Academy teams.
Liverpool had extensively scouted the teenage shot-stopper for some time with Pitaluga receiving praise from the club’s first-team goalkeeping coach John Achterberg.
“I saw him for the first time in the World Cup squad. You’re checking all the goalies and looking at the ages,” he said during an interview with the club’s official website.
“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.”
Pitaluga has been involved with the first-team set up over the past two weeks and he seems to be fitting in effortlessly. He sent his first message on social media to supporters since his move to Merseyside.
— Marcelo Pitaluga (@mpitaluga_) October 19, 2020
Pitaluga will not travel with Liverpool’s senior squad to face Ajax on Wednesday with fellow goalkeepers Adrian and Caoimhín Kelleher expected to make the trip over the Brazilian youth international.
He will have to remain patient for his opportunity in the first-team, but given his age and the fact he will learn under the guidance of the world’s finest goalkeeper for years to come suggests he is in no better environment to accelerate his development.