Following their grand tradition, Roma once again parted with a key component of the prior year’s team, shipping off Alisson to Liverpool, a move which just became official, having been confirmed by both teams. Alisson’s sale is the third successive summer in which Roma has sold a star player, following the sales of Miralem Pjanic and Mohamed Salah, respectively. At least in this instance, Roma managed to set a new world record in the process.
Per the club’s official site, Alisson moves to Liverpool for an initial €62.5 million, with the possibility to tack on a further €10 million in bonuses, bringing to total to €72.5 million, some thirty million more than Manchester City paid for Ederson when all is said and done. Considering Roma paid only €8 million for Alisson in the summer of 2016, this represents an 800% profit, give or take; either way, it’s a tremendous bit of business.
Earlier in the day, Monchi shed a bit of light on his thinking:
The job of a sporting director is not just to make signings but also to understand what’s best for the club at any given time. Economic factors are important for the club too, not just sporting factors. The offer was way above the market average – it was very significant. We weighed up the pros and cons and decided to speak to Liverpool in order to come to an agreement. Does it show a lack of ambition? Not for me. Our ambition remains unchanged. We’ve sold two important players, Radja [Nainggolan] and Alisson, but we’ve signed ten players very early in the window. We continue to work hard to find players and build a great team.
I came here to try to build the strongest team possible, not just for one year but for many years to come. I’m 100% convinced I can do that, but before you get to the tenth floor you have to climb all the other floors. Last year people were saying the same thing about [Mohamad] Salah, [Toni] Rudiger and [Leandro] Paredes, but then we had our best season in ten years, finished third and got to the Champions League semi-finals. It’s nice to talk about ambitions, but you need to use your head. Alisson is a top player, perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world. Last year people were saying that the departure of [Wojciech] Szczesny was the end of the world. Alisson had to complete a journey too. I know fans can be impatient, but at times clubs just need time.
While I can’t argue with Monchi about people’s reactions to losing Woj last year—we’re a crazy bunch, Roma fans—it still troubles me that reaching the Champions League semi-finals, by virtue of Bruno Peres’ toe, stands as an objective measuring stick for progress. Roma fell from 87 points to 77 and scored 21 fewer goals than they did during 2016-2017, and in losing Alisson and Nainggolan have stripped themselves of key components in that success.
But I digress, the time for debating this move is done; he’s gone and Roma smashed the world record in the progress. Now we just have to wait and see how they reinvest that €72.5 million.
As for how we digest our collective feelings for Alisson, that’s a bit tougher. It’s been ages since Roma had a player as good as him, but he jilted them the first chance he got. So how will you assess your feelings towards Alisson? Is he Roma’s Judas, or is he merely doing what any of us would?