Having thrown their weight around in the transfer market over the last two decades, Chelsea have rarely not gotten what they want when it comes to recruiting top talent, with a succession of high profile figures having arrived through the door in the Premier League era.
However, for every Eden Hazard or Didier Drogba, there is a player who simply cannot be tempted into a move to west London, with one figure, in particular, springing to mind when it comes to missed opportunities.
That man is current Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, with the Brazilian having been viewed as the ideal option to replace Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois back in 2018, according to reports at the time.
The 6 foot 3 colossus had impressed as part of Roma’s run to the Champions League semi-final’s during the 2017/18 campaign, with the Serie A side eventually crashing out in the last four at the hands of his future employers.
The Reds’ defeat in that subsequent final against Madrid – and Lorius Karius’ infamous double blunder – sparked Jurgen Klopp’s side into action, as they moved ahead of their Premier League rivals in the race for the former Internacional man’s signature.
In west London, the protracted sale of Courtois to Los Blancos caused a delay in any possible deal for their top target, with the Merseysiders eventually pouncing to secure a £67m deal for Alisson in July.
The 29-year-old has since revealed why he opted for the move to Anfield over a switch to Stamford Bridge, highlighting the Blues’ lack of Champions League football as a major factor, as well as the historical pull of his eventual destination.
Speaking to FourFourTwo in 2019, the £54m-rated ace said of his choice: “I chose Liverpool for the same reasons I went to Roma when I first left Brazil – I thought this would be the best move for my career.
“Chelsea were changing their manager and not playing in the Champions League. I’ve also always admired Liverpool’s history. This is a club with five European Cups in their trophy cabinet. I really wanted to be part of that history.
“I came very close to winning the competition with Roma and I’m working hard to make it happen now with Liverpool. What’s life if not fighting for your dreams? I dream of winning the Champions League.”
His dreams were soon realised as Klopp and co claimed European glory at the end of the 2018/19 season, while he has since gone on to lift the Premier League title and Carabao Cup, as well as solidifying his status as a “world-class” goalkeeper, according to his current boss.
While the £190k-per-week man – who Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville previously suggested was the best ‘keeper in the league “by a mile” – has thrived in the last four years, the west Londoners were initially left ruing their failure to secure his signature.
Still needing a new goalkeeping addition in the summer of 2018, then-boss Maurizio Sarri turned to Athletic Bilbao youngster Kepa Arrizabalaga, with the club forking a world record fee for a goalkeeper of £71.6m.
Whether it was the pressure of that price tag or the demands of the Premier League, the Spaniard struggled from the get-go in English football, leaving Jamie Carragher to suggest that the club had been “done” in the transfer market after forking out such a hefty fee for a player who has never looked convincing.
After two years of misery, however, the Blues have since found what appears a top-class ‘keeper of their own in Edouard Mendy, the former Rennes man – who has been dubbed “incredible” by Chris Sutton – arriving in the summer of 2020 and quickly establishing himself as the undisputed number one.
The Senegal international also featured heavily as Thomas Tuchel’s romped to the Champions League title last term – conceding just four goals along the way – and remains an astute purchase, although it will be hard to ever shake off the failure to secure Alisson’s services.