Speaking on the Echo’s Blood Red podcast, John Solano – the editor of the romapress.net website – has spoken about how the departure of Alisson Becker has spelled doom Roma and demonstrated just what an astoundingly good bit of business it was for the Reds.
The Brazilian stopper arrived for a then-world record fee of £65 million in the summer of last year.
In the contextual shadow of Loris Karius’ performance in last year’s Champions League final, the addition of our stunning new ‘keeper has had even more value.
But the it’s the opposite for Roma between the sticks.
“A lot of people will look for an alibi to explain what went wrong this season,” Solano explained, “a lot of people will blame the manager Eusebio di Francesco, a lot of people will blame the sporting director Ramon Monchi, but for me it was a mixture of things.
“They lost Alisson and replaced him with Swedish national goalkeeper Robin Olsen who was nothing short of a nightmare.
“He was absolutely terrible. In terms of the whole of Serie A, I can’t think of a gulf in quality between an outgoing player and an incoming player. The difference was absolutely dramatic.”
Alisson Becker deserves massive credit for his seamless transition to the PL. He got drafted into the XI without a pre season and never looked back since. Klopp’s decision to pay a world record fee to address our biggest weakness has been vindicated in some style, Monstro 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/0TWPlAdtOU
— RF9 🇧🇷 (@SambaRole) June 14, 2019
With Alisson added to our ranks, it’s hard to feel sorry for Roma – although, to be fair, we already snatched Mohamed Salah from them for the ridiculously reasonable fee of £36.9 million.
Solano also revealed something about the 26-year-old, which, admittedly, we already knew.
“When we initially spoke about Alisson, I think I said he got Roma on his own 10 or 11 points, and only half of those this season would have got Roma in the Champions League, so it just shows you how much a world-class goalkeeper can do for you.
“He really did make up for Roma’s flaws in other areas that Olsen just wasn’t able to do…Roma have forced themselves into this position where they are going to have to spend big on a goalkeeper this summer.”
“He’s definitely lived up to the price tag and Roma’s loss was Liverpool’s gain,” Solano admitted.
Without Alisson we might not even have made it to the Champions League final, let alone won it with a clean sheet. His last-minute save against Napoli arguably warranted his fee in the first place.
The Brazilian was rightfully awarded the Premier League’s Golden Glove in his debut season, which is hardly surprising given his reputation – but he seems to have surprised Solano!
Here’s Alisson’s stats from his debut season with Liverpool:
Clean sheets: 21
Save success %: 77.55
Short pass accuracy (%): 93
Long pass accuracy (%): 47
Goals conceded: 22
Alisson faced more shots, made more saves, and conceded less goals pic.twitter.com/2f20L83QAr
— Josh (@KloppStyle) June 14, 2019
“I thought he would need some time to adapt to a different league and different style, which is obviously a bit more physical, but we saw the similar game from him, in my opinion, that we saw in Serie A for Roma.
“And as I said about a year ago, I thought he was in the top five goalkeepers in the world after only one full season at Roma, and I really do think he fulfilled that at Liverpool, helping lead them to the Champions League.
“I think he’s been brilliant and I think he’s one of the two best goalkeepers in the world. I’m happy for him. He’s a nice guy, he deserves it and I’m happy to see him doing well outside of Roma.”
While Roma will probably feel hard done by after losing Salah and Alisson in consecutive seasons, the two have been vitally decisive in transforming Jürgen Klopp’s Reds into world-beaters.
With Karius still on his two-year loan to Turkish side Besiktas, the previous notions of the German staking a claim for the No. 1 spot were utterly dispelled once Alisson arrived.
Alisson will be the Reds’ goalkeeper for many years to come, Roma however will need to seek a long-term successor to the unbelievably talented Brazil stopper.