Before we start, let me clear my throat (*ahem*)....Okay, I’m good.
The date was April 15, 2018, spring was but a few weeks old and Roma was caught in the middle of one of their patented Jekyll and Hyde performances. You see, five days prior Roma had done the unthinkable, erasing a three-goal deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League to advance to the semi-finals for the first time in decades, only to follow that up with a frustrating scoreless draw against Lazio on the 15th.
April 15th is a notorious and inescapable day for our American readership, the day on which our income taxes are due. As the old adage says, nothing is certain but death and taxes, well I’d like to add a third to that—James Pallotta putting his foot in his mouth.
Following that draw with Lazio, one in which Alisson was typically stellar, Pallotta opined on the future of his world beating goalkeeper, stating unequivocally “there is zero chance we sell Alisson.”
While we’re a few steps away from an official deal, the writing is on the wall: Alisson is on his way to Real Madrid in a deal that could potentially reach €80 million, and James Pallotta will once again have to expertly remove his foot from his mouth.
And yes, €80 million is an absurd sum for a keeper, and yes, Alisson may very well have pushed for this move, but it is yet another example of Pallotta’s bluster amounting to pure bullshit. Why he insists on speaking publicly with such certainties is beyond me, but as we’ve discussed ad nauseum, he’s his own worst enemy.
Whether he does it for publicity or is actually ignorant to the realities of the transfer market is immaterial, statements like those decrease the weight of his words and could hamper Roma’s credibility in the long run. I have no issue with the sale in and of itself—in many ways it was inevitable—but the manner in which he makes such bold claims, when he has no intention or capability of backing them up, continues to astound me.
I’m not even sure how to end this, this is depressing news anyway you slice it. Alisson is a potentially paradigm shifting goalkeeper, one who will undoubtedly rack up quite the trophy collection now that he’s with Real...you know, allegedly.
Where Roma goes from here is anyone’s guess. Will they allocate those funds to other areas of the pitch? Chase a big name keeper? Hand the keys to Skorupski? Gamble on Alex Meret? Make a play for Gianluigi Donnarumma?
Alisson is no regular keeper—remember, by some estimates he saved/earned Roma as much as 13 points last season—so Roma won’t move on so swiftly from this.
Monchi is doing some fine work in the transfer market thus far, but as Alisson himself warned earlier this week, if Roma wants to be taken seriously, they have hang onto their best players. Hoarding talented teenagers is all well and good, but someone has to be the adult on the pitch.