A couple of weeks ago (or days, I don’t know, this club warps my sense of time) on Twitter, we posed the following question: Is Alisson already the best player Roma has had since Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi were at their respective peaks? Certainly we’ve been privy to some great seasons from Mohamed Salah, Radja Nainggolan and even Erik Lamela, but none of them felt like they were setting the global standard at their position.
Alisson does. He may not be the first name to cross your lips when discussing the best keepers in the world, but he’s not far behind.
From his _______-like reflexes (I don’t want to say cat, what other animal is renown for their reactions? Lemurs? Sugar Gliders?) to his stellar positioning, aggression, absurd skill on the ball and his A+ hair game, Alisson Ramses Becker is among a handful of keepers worth breaking the bank for, that much is clear.
What is less clear, however, is who will be cutting those checks in the future. For much of the winter, we’ve lived in fear that Liverpool would rob Roma once more, pairing Alisson with his former teammate Mohamed Salah in a desperate attempt to unseat Manchester City in the “world’s greatest league.” However, now that Liverpool have seemingly settled on Loris Karius, those connections are starting to run dry.
While that’s all well and good, when a player as well respected, as young and as game changing as Alisson enters the rumor mill, the teams that horde players like grandma's horde chotchkies will make inroads regardless of need. If Alisson truly is the best player Roma has had since Totti and DDR were at their apex, the world won’t relent until he commits to Roma in mind, body and spirit.
So, with that in mind, it’s with baited breath that we await the outcome of the supposed negotiations occurring between Roma and Alisson’s agent, Ze Maria, who took to Instagram to, I don’t know, document the negotiations? Look at Roma’s decorating scheme?
For those of us who are not adept at Portuguese, Maria offered a succinct caption upon landing in Roma.
Growing partnership! Here at Roma to look after the interests of our athlete Alisson Becker!
This certainly seems like a good sign, but let me play Devil's advocate and just say that “interests” could mean any number of things. They could be negotiating an increased salary, a new deal with a mega release clause, some sort of win-win agreement in which Alisson signs on for two years and then leaves, or maybe after last week’s match they’re looking to break into the Brylcreem marketing game. We just don’t know, but the mere fact that both sides are taking the initiative and meeting is certainly a good sign.
Alisson is as legit as they come, and should be the world’s best and most unique keeper in no short order, so losing him will sting anyway you slice it.
But...but...if the smile on his face as he embraced Daniele De Rossi the other day was any indication, perhaps the sickness is already enveloping him. The same sickness that kept Totti, De Rossi and Nainggolan in town when all common sense and good reason was prodding them elsewhere. The same sickness that leads so many of us to eschew our real life responsibilities to follow this club.
So, much like Andy Dufresne, all we can do is hope. And if Alisson does indeed go, well, we might all end up like poor old Brooks.