15 May 2013

Aldo warns: 'Brilliant' €15m LFC star will be 'very hard to replace'. Agree...?

Last week, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claimed that Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina 'is not for sale', and dismissed rumours of a summer departure as 'not worth commenting on'. Reports in Spain claim that a deal with Barcelona has already been agreed, but Anfield legend John Aldridge insists that selling the Spaniard would be the wrong decision.

In his column for the Liverpool Daily Post today, Aldo insisted that Liverpool 'must keep hold' of the 'brilliant' Spaniard:

"With Jamie Carragher retiring this summer, I don’t think we can afford to lose another leader in the dressing room.

"Reina has had a couple of indifferent years but over the course of this season he has started to get back to his best and would be very hard to replace".

It looks like Rodgers agrees. When quizzed about Reina's future during his pre-Fulham press conference last Friday, Rodgers told reporters:

"Pepe's not for sale. He's got three years left on his contract, and he's happy. Obviously, there's speculation - it's silly season now, with all the rumours, but it's not worth commenting on, really."

A report last week in Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo - which maintains close links with the Catalan club - claimed:

* Reina has agreed a 2-year deal with Barca.
* A transfer fee of £10m has been agreed with LFC.
* Barca guarantee Reina will be first choice when Victor Valdes leaves.

Pepe Reina Barcelona

This week, Mundo Deportivo further claimed that:

* Reina's agent met with Liverpool on Tuesday to discuss the player's future.
* Liverpool want to keep him, but would be willing to let him go for €15m.

Aldo is right that Reina's form is excellent at the moment, but the cynic in me notes that his performances only started to improve after the Barcelona speculation arose. If Reina is angling for a move, then he's essentially in the shop window, and would obviously want to play well.

The same thing happened with Andy Carroll last season: he played poorly for the first six months of the season, but as soon as Euro 2012 appeared on the horizon, his form magically improved.

Of course, it's entirely possible Reina is - as Rodgers suggests - 'happy' at LFC, and the Mundo story is just speculation. However, Mundo is massively pro-Barca - and is often correct with Barca-related stories - so I doubt that Reina story is made up.

Aldo claims Reina will be 'very hard to replace', but is that true? There are lots of quality goalkeepers out there capable of taking over, and when the time comes, I doubt it will be as hard as many people seem to think.

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  1. Replacing a goalkeeper is very tricky if you're in a rebuilding phase. I'd be happy if he stays. If he really wants to leave then we should let him but I find it difficult to name three goalkeepers who would definitely improve on what we have.

  2. Yes I think he will be hard to replace. You have seen it time and time again where solid keepers have left a team, and its taken them a good season or 2 if not longer to replace them with someone adequate.
    Unless Reina specifically wants to leave I don't think we should sell him. Like Aldo says with Carra going this season too, that's a lot of experience gone in one summer, and yes you can replace players, but not necessarily experience like that.
    Instead of being a cynic Jaimie, why don't you look at it this way, Reina's form has improved, because he doesn't want to leave, and is worried by the speculation that he might get sold :-P

  3. How many goalkeepers are there can you get for 15m and is better than Reina JK?

  4. Yes very hard but if he wants to go not cheap every time barcalona wants someone they get him cheap 18 mil go. french keeper Courtois or German Ter stegan are the best young keepers in world. Or swap with barca for two players tello is 8 mil

  5. Ter Stegen and Courtois are good shouts. The latter is Belgian, not French, though. And Chelsea probably won't let him go, too.

  6. Given that our back four will see some significant change during the summer, I don't think it would be a good idea to change our goalkeeper now, too. And not for 10m anyway. Double that fee and we could start thinking about it.

  7. Ter Stegen, Handanovic, Adler, Courtois, Stekelenburg, etc just to name a few. Who says they have to be better than Reina? 'better' is subjective for the most part. There are many keepers out there who could do as good a job as Reina, if not surpass him (IMO). You seem to be suggesting that there are NO goalkeepers out there to replace him, which is, with respect, nonsense.

  8. Its better to keep hold of reina.. Not that easy to replace GK's..

  9. Yes we can the replacement but the problem is will the replacement keeper familiar with the EPL team strike position? Like De Gea he is great a goalkeeping but weak at aerial save where it is common in EPL. If he does go I hope we get a keeper with great reflex and vision

  10. he is a great goalkeeper, i think he starts alot of our attacks with his excellent distribution. His footwork is good, he his calm with the ball at his feet. I feel we should see how next season pans out, i feel he is back to his best. You could be right he wants the move and hence is playing better, but if he wanted a move dont you think he would make his feelings known to rodgers so that they would accept any offer that came thru? maybe inside the story is different, but i feel he is happy to stay.

  11. If we rec’d 15m for reina, we should let him go. The temptation to join barca might be too strong, and even if he doesn’t leave, I'm afraid that his mind might be distracted, affecting his performance early next season.

    Of course, we can replace him, but we will lose another vocal character on the field and in the dressing room.

    Stegen would be an excellent replacement imo. Young, good and vocal. Fit in FSG policy.

  12. I just think, we have more priorities in other areas, that need replacing, and spending money on a new keeper isn't necessary, especially when Rodgers probably wont have a lot to spend.

  13. I dont like the idea of trying to replace a keeper and trying to replace the middle of our defense and the same time. seems like a recipe for disaster.

  14. Unless he wants to leave, I think defence is a priority. But £15m is a good price for Reina me thinks. I wonder how much of a leader he is. Just because he is experienced and been here a while doesn't guarantee that does it? Just musing.

    I don't mind him leaving at all but if we have a limited budget, I would prioritise other areas of the team first. I agree with some that it is risky revamping both CB area and GK at same time but we're already in a so-called rebuilding phase so maybe its a good time.

    Talking of Carroll, paper reporting today that Hammers are super keen on keeping Carroll. Yes, take him, please.

  15. Now I'm a big fan of Courtois and I honestly believe that within the next two years he will be among the best three goalkeepers in the world. Ability wise, he would definitely be a better option in the long term without losing anything right now. But that is just looking at the individual. As Man Citeh and Real have taught us, a team is more than a selection of 11 talented individuals. More than talent, it is about automatisms and understanding between the players on the pitch. Bleeding a new goalkeeper AND a central defender may be a bit much all at the same time and I don't think anyone is interested in yet another transition season.

  16. how many times since grobs have we gone out and bought the next big thing,when it comes to keepers and how many have delievered the goods keep pepe unless its a massive offer hes coming into his prime and we need to keep hold of our experienced players

  17. Yes i would agree if Pepe is to fly the coop the sooner the better let the team get on with rebuilding which the club is well and truly still in the stages of.
    I am hoping Liverpool can manage to get Tello and a few quid for him providing Barca dont hit the club with their crap buy back clauses.

  18. Aldo is spot on and I've been saying this ever since people started getting on his back. Every keeper has slumps and I think Reina has come out of that. Chelsea and City fans did the same with Cech and Hart respectively not too long ago but they are both arguably the top two or three keepers in the league now. Reina is in that mould in terms of quality and the leadership he brings to the back four cannot be ignored. We saw what happened when Cara was out of the team and I believe if we lose both he and Reina we are going to see a lot more mistakes at the back and generally poor defending.

    Now that's me just speculating but this is a fact. Keepers are the hardest position to replace in football because, while there are a lot of talented players, there are not a lot of leaders out there. Controlling your defense and inspiring confidence is what seperates pretenders from the real deal; there's a reason why pundits always talk about "the spine" of the team needing to be strong in order to be successful. Even the great Alex Ferguson hasn't been able to get that goalkeeper situation settled since Peter Schmeichel left. In my mind we should do everything to keep Reina as I think he has at least two more seasons at this level.
    If I was BR I would buy Ter Stegen now and loan him back for the next year to gain more first team experience and bring him in as Reina's understudy for that second season. I think Reina can teach him a lot (especially the ball distrobution part of his game) and help prepare him for the premiership and the liverpool set-up. That for me is the best plan to ensure we don't end up in a goalkeeping wilderness moaning and wishing we had someone else between the sticks season after season until the next clemence, Grobbelaar , or reina comes along

  19. I would agree if Pepe is to leave then whilst rebuilding is the best time i for one hope Tello is included there somewhere without a buy back clause.
    If they are to bring in a new keeper i think that is fine there is plenty of quality young keepers.
    But with the C.B role it is essential that they choose an experienced quality player who will blend in quickly.
    Would not be surprised tho if the Hammers offer very little i think this one will go on for a while.

  20. Ditto on Tello. Rate him but me thinks they will get let go of Villa and give Tello a new contract. He offers more to their system than Villa and Pedro do as he has a more expansive dynamic to his game in that wide position, or at least has the potential to do so. But seems that his contract situation (if the media is to be believed) that gives him some negotiation power, whether it to be move on for not a big transfer fee or get a better contract deal at Barca.

  21. It's a miracle...at last a JC comment I can really agree with (or is it a nightmare). Off for a lie down

  22. I haven't seen any of this Mkhitaryan chap but seen him mentioned a few times on here by either different people or was it just you!? ;)

    For me, priority is getting the outfield spine sorted out. The CBs & central midfield primarily. Ditto, on our problems with shipping easy goals and these two sets of positions need sorting.

    If we got money left over, I'm not sure where I'd strengthen next.

    As I like to leave full back positions till later (well generally), as it annoyed me when Rafa when out and bought Johnson for that much (regardless of the Pompey bankruptcy-Crouch money excuse)(still does annoy me, as he is rather wishy washy at RB defensively), when we still hadn't had a really good winger/wide player since McManaman left and were short of quality in the attacking areas.

    FBs do play a part in conceding goals but in this system, with the way they need to be providing width and pushing forward, they are going to be leaving inevitable gaps, so that is one reason why I'm a bit conservative about spending money on FB area this summer (maybe next) as I think its more a fundamental problem at CB area and CM area in such a system like ours as well as the work ethic of the team as a whole. There has got to be better work rate from the midfield and forward when without the ball, whether it is to press to get the ball back quickly or get in position to slow down the opposition.

    Our FBs aren't great and have problems but just not sure where to improve first, right midfield, another striker or FBs.

    How about Johnson at left back? Seems to do better defensively there, than he does at right back.

  23. It was prob just me mentioning him a lot lol. I have watched him a bit this season, and a little last. He is still very young at 21, but he has a eye for the goal and is improving by the year. He has a good shot on him too. I think he scored 10 goals in the league in 26 games last season when he was 20, and 24 goals in 27 games this season, mainly played in mid or attacking right positions. Granted the league isn`t as strong and the defenders aren`t as good as in the prem, but he is improving year on year and still only 21. He is also strong and has pace and good foot work skills, but also and sometimes just as important he is great as making space for other players. This when coupled with the players we already have would make our attacking line a real nightmare for the other team. Lots of fast tricky players, who can play across the line (he can) and switch when needed. Like any young player from a lesser league he is a risk, but from what I have seen he would be a great addition to the team and a improvement on say Downing.

    I do agree with you about the full backs, and also agree that a CB and DM is the first two positions needed to be filled.

    Johnson at left back is a good shout, as I also thought he looked better there, and kelly or Wisedom can play right back then, giving them game time in a safer role than at CB. Mistakes are more forgiven at RB than at CB thus they can get the time to grow and learn without having the fans on there back so much for slipping up in a game. At this level one mistake can cost you the game and your place in the team.

    I honestly think if we just got one new CB, one new DM and Henrikh Mkhitaryan we would be in a much better place next season than this one.

    There are other players in the squad who could play in Henrikh`s role so it isnt the most urgent of positions to fill, but he does offer a improvment on what we have already which can only be a good thing.

  24. Courtois is a Chelsea player i hope you haven't forgotten that , its a risk we will have to take with the other names you suggested considering they will take time to settle in the Premier league.However,its not easy replacing Reina will not be easy considering we are in a rebuilding period.

  25. i think begovic is the best option if reina had to leave other than him i would look abroad , germany are producing good keepers but lets not forget we also need a back up for 2nd keeper i would sign mc carthy
    reina 15m , begovic 10m and mccarthy 5, not bad but would prefer if reina stays

  26. Reina has finished the season strongly, but he was well below average for about half the season, and contributed heavily to our poor league placing.