Saturday during Roma’s press conference to unveil Bianda and Coric, Monchi fielded questions and issued updates on the transfer market. Of course, one of the questions involved the future and price tag of star keeper Alisson after Brazil’s World Cup exit. To this Monchi responded,
This may be true but with the World Cup approaching its conclusion on Saturday, one would surmise that offers will begin to come Roma’s way. Also, Monchi must have a figure in mind that would make keeping Roma’s best player at the Olimpico for another season nearly impossible.
Early on the rumors were swirling that Liverpool, with their glaring need between the sticks well known, would be the most likely candidate for Alisson’s services . Those rumors cooled only to be followed others involving Real Madrid. It was said that Alisson had come to personal terms with los Galacticos. At that point, it seemed as if a move from the Italian Capital to the Spanish Capital was all but a given, for arguably the best keeper in Europe last season.
I wasn’t crazy with the idea of losing Alisson, who at times at times last season put Roma on his back and carried the team during their deep Champions League run. However, I understand when Real Madrid calls the best players listen. So with that in mind I would’ve accepted losing Alisson if we could bleed Real Madrid for every Euro possible.
However, new reports emerged last week that indicate that if Real Madrid turn to Thibault Courtois rather than Alisson, then Chelsea would move for the Brazilian. Reports went as far as to say that Alisson’s agent already has agreed to terms on a deal if the move comes to fruition.
I understand that Monchi will likely offload the best player we’ve had in a long time to the highest bidder, if they reach whatever magic number he has in mind. But does a move to Chelsea make more sense for Alisson than staying in Rome this off-season? I’d argue no.
I understand that Chelsea is more of a household name around the world than Roma. On top of that, Cheslea has seen more success both domestically and in Europe in recent years. For those reasons, most years, I’d put my loyalties aside and admit that Chelsea is a more desirable destination than Roma. However, at this point in time does Chelsea really offer more than Roma? Remember, Roma topped their Champions League group in part by taking four points off Chelsea.
Of course, Chelsea plays in the Premier League, which will always has its allure as one of the world’s best leagues. Alisson would probably see better domestic competition on a week in, week out basis. However, we’re talking about a team that finished fifth in the league; 30 points behind league winners Manchester City.
That fifth place finish means Roma offers something that Chelsea can’t offer Alisson this season: Champions League Football. With Roma advancing all the way to the semifinals last season, one would think that Alisson would be hungry for another shot at European glory. Roma can guarantee that to Alisson this season.
Meanwhile, there’s no guarantee that Chelsea can even offer it next season. The Premier League is very top heavy and Chelsea may have a hard time returning to the Top 4. Defending champions Manchester City, runners up Manchester United, Champions League finalist Liverpool, Tottenham, and a potentially rejuvenated Arsenal are all standing in their way.
Of course, Juve will again be favored to win their eighth straight title in Italy, especially with Ronaldo on his way. However, it can be argued that Roma will better prepared to challenge the Scudetto holders in EDF’s second season in charge, while also being well positioned to clinch a Champions League spot again.
In addition, Chelsea currently have an uncertain coaching situation. It’s believe that Maurizio Sarri will be replace Antonio Conte. However, that still hasn’t happened due to Sarri’s Napoli release clause. If the coaching situation doesn’t clear itself up soon, would Alisson really want to commit not knowing who he’d be playing for?
In the end if Real Madrid comes calling and Alisson bolts for the Bernabeau then I wouldn’t blame him for a second for leaving. However, with last year’s head to head results, no Champions League football, a more difficult path to return to the CL, and a currently uncertain coaching situation; I am far from convinced that a move to Chelsea is a step up for Alisson. Unless, of course, Alisson is all about the Benjamins.