?Now rightly considered one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe, let alone the Premier League, Alisson Becker’s career path could have taken a slightly different path had it not have been for some hesitation on Chelsea’s part.
Liverpool secured the goalkeeper for a then-world record fee of £66.8m from Roma in the summer of 2018, and the Brazilian has since gone on to forge himself a fine reputation – while equally acting as a shrewd piece of business from the Reds.
That fee would eventually be surpassed by none other than ?Chelsea themselves, who forked out the now-world record fee for a goalkeeper with the £71.6m they spent on Kepa Arrizabalaga.
While his first season with the Blues seemed to show promising signs of further development and undoubted quality, the 2019/20 campaign has seen his form plummet and Frank Lampard subsequently dropped him from the starting lineup.
It could have been a vastly different scenario in west London, however. As reported by David Ornstein of ?The Athletic, talks over a deal for Alisson between Roma and Chelsea were at an ‘advanced stage’ back in 2018, with the Blues having the stopper as their first-choice target.
The club’s director, Marina Granovskaia, however, harboured hopes that Thibaut Courtois would remain at Stamford Bridge. Belgium’s number one keeper had expressed his desire to return to Spain where he could be closer to his children, with rumours swirling around for months about a potential ?La Liga return.
Granovskaia and the club’s hesitance ultimately proved costly, as ?Liverpool stole a march to secure the deal, while it got considerably worse for Chelsea as Courtois then went on strike. Kepa was the number two choice at the time, and Lampard’s side were left with their hand forced. Their indecision cost them nearly £72m.
And sure, while it’s not a great deal more than what Alisson cost, taking one quick look at each player’s trajectory since they came to these shores paints a clear picture on who profited most.
It is added in the report that Granovskaia is not the villain in this case. She has worked brilliantly at the club, most recently in sealing a deal for Hakim Ziyech of Ajax. Unfortunately, on this occasion, they missed out. Big time.
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