I’m not sure where you’re sporting allegiances lie, but today I was greeted with a double whammy: not only had my beloved San Antonio Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard, a top five player when healthy, to the Toronto Raptors, but I was smacked in the face with several thousand stories telling me that Alisson Becker was moving to Liverpool after all, despite the late overtures from Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea.
Multiple, and I mean multiple, outlets in each country have seized upon this deal, one that La Stampa claims will be structured with a €60 million flat fee to be followed by €15 million in bonuses. Further reports from the UK indicate that Liverpool are already getting his medical examination set up—you know, getting the tongue depressors into that glass tube, getting a fresh roll of that paper stuff you sit on bare assed and probably a fresh batch of lollipops to reward Alisson for acting like a “big boy.”
Sooo, yeah, that’s it. If you want a taste of my over the top reactions, head on over to our Twitter feed; suffice it to say, they’re off the cuff. For the umpteenth time Roma has capitulated to her European rivals, as Alisson follows Erik Lamela, Marquinhos, Mehdi Benatia, Miralem Pjanic, Leandro Paredes, Radja Nainggolan and Mohamed Salah out the door. And let us not forget, had they had their way, Edin Dzeko and Kostas Manolas would join the ranks of former Roma players.
And look, I get it, most clubs have to make sales every year, but I don’t care about any other club than Roma. And each and every year they make huge, critical sales like this, a point that’s not lost on the players. Remember, Alisson himself decried the sale of Nainggolan as a sign that Roma are not serious competitors. And he’s absolutely right. While we’re all excited at the prospect of Ante Coric or Justin Kluivert, replacing key veterans with teenagers isn’t a recipe for immediate success.
While we can assume Nainggolan’s awkward fit into EDF’s tactics, not to mention his age, factored into his sale (though it remained quite heartbreaking), as we said yesterday, there is no FFP coercion here, no personal rifts, and no tactical incongruities; Alisson wanted to leave, plain and simple, so please don’t shed a tear for him—he’s more Pete Campbell than Don Draper as it turns out.
So, as we wait and see how the club’s PR team spins this sale and how Monchi will paper over this gigantic crack, I’m just gonna leave this here...
Well, any hope of a last minute reversal seems dashed now—Alisson was reportedly in Rome to discuss his future with the Roma brass—we’ll pass along more details as they become available.