3 Dec 2014

Done Deal? - LFC close to signing 'explosive' €6m Brazilian on £36k a week contract

Liverpool continue to be linked with a move for Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Murara Neto (aka 'Neto'), and reports in Italy this week suggest that Reds are very close to sealing a deal.

In October, The Mirror claimed that:

* Rodgers is 'frantically' searching for a replacement for 'poor' Mignolet.

* Liverpool are planning to make a move for 'Neto'.

* The Brazilian is allegedly willing to accept £20,000-per-week.

Then, in November, the Daily Mail claimed that Neto is 'top of Brendan Rodgers' transfer wishlist'.

Well, things have apparently progressed this week, and according to Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato today:

* Liverpool have offered Neto €1.9m a year (£36k per week)
* The Reds have outbid Roma, who've offered €1.6m.

When asked recently about his future, €6m-rated Neto seemed to rule out a move away from Serie A. He told reporters:

"I am not thinking about the renewal. I’m just concentrating on my work and being in good form. The club would like me to renew straight away but we haven’t reached an agreement yet. Fiorentina remains my first choice.”

Neto's Stats:

* 2014-15: Played 13
* Goals conceded: 11 (1 every 1.1 games)
* Clean Sheets: 5

* 2013-14: Played 49
* Goals conceded: 51 (1 every 1.04 games)
* Clean Sheets: 16 (1 every 3 games)

* TOTALS: (Fiorentina) - Played 76
* Goals conceded: 78 (1 every 10.2 games)
* Clean Sheets: 27 (35% - 1 every 2.8 games)

Neto's clean sheet record is quite impressive, but over his career, his goals-conceded per-game ratio is not the greatest. However, last season, he conceded fewer goals (51 in 49 games) than Mignolet (53 in 40 games), so at a basic level, the Brazilian is clearly an upgrade.

Former Fiorentina goalkeeper Sébastien Frey certainly believes that Neto is a top-class 'keeper. In an interview earlier this year, he raved:

“I trained for a few months with Neto and he his is naturally explosive, and I think the Italian school helped him grow even more. He can become one of the best goalkeepers in Serie A.”

Is Neto the answer, or should Liverpool try and sign a proven, world-class goalkeeper (like Iker Casillas, for example, who is currently being linked with a move to Anfield)?

I'd personally prefer to see a recognised top-class 'keeper come in. Liverpool shouldn't mess around here - Mignolet needs to be replaced, not challenged. Neto is a mid-level stopper; he's never played for Brazil, and he's (arguably) on a similar level to the Belgian.

Liverpool need a very clear upgrade, and I doubt Neto is it.



  1. There are a lot of factors that have to be considered before you can compare keepers. Simply looking at goals per games conceded is not a true barometer.

  2. Goals conceded and clean sheets are the primary stats related to goalkeepers. A detailed drill-down of 50 different stats is not required.

  3. Couldn't agree more no more stats needed here in the important categories very similar to mingolet some may see this as a slight upgrade at best but honestly we should get a quality stopper wish we went after begovic instead of mingolet

  4. I think what he means is you need to look at the quality of the opposing strike forces and the quality of the defence in front of the keeper as well as the keeper's individual stats.
    Last season we had an error strewn defence (several own goals or poor passes letting the opponents in), this season we've had the same.
    Mignolet hasn't been the best but he's not operated in front of a quality defence either.

  5. Well, a keeper who has an inferior back 4 in front of him should be expected to concede more goals than another keeper who has a stronger defence. I don't think you can just pick out the keepers' stats and compare them but that's just my opinion. I'm not defending Mignolet here, as I think aspects of his keeping leave a lot to be desired, but a lot of the goals he has conceded is because of our inept defending. I do however think we need to find a good allround keeper who has shot-stopping, ball distribution, command of the area, and organizational skills as part of his armoury.

  6. I disagree. No one has time to spend weeks analysing such things. At the base level, primary stats are used to compare/analyse the effectiveness of players.

    When comparing strikers, for example, you first look at the primary stats (i.e. goals/assists) - you don't list 50 different stats that have little relevance, or compare the quality of the opposing defence.

    Ditto goalkeepers. Whenever the subject of 'keepers is raised, the first stats always referenced are goals conceded and clean sheets.

    Secondary stats can also be referenced, but the most important are goals conceded and clean sheets.

  7. Well, a keeper who has an inferior back 4 in front of him should be expected to concede more goals than another keeper who has a stronger defence.

    Sorry, that's just not true. First, how do you accurately discern whether a defence is 'inferior'? Man United, for example, have a comparatively inferior defence (after the loss of Vidic, Evra, and Ferdinand), yet De Gea has a better record than Mignolet.

    On paper, Liverpool have a better defence than Stoke City (particularly in terms of monetary value), yet Stoke's keeper has conceded fewer Premier League goals.

  8. Spot on who is to say your defense is better than that one....remember the gk might not be part of the back 4 but he is a direct influence if they are good or not....at this very moment we have a gk who cant cope with crosses looks like hes shaking between the posts and is lost a CLEAR upgrade is waranted not a young promising chance

  9. I agree. If you have an impressive goals and assists ratio, you're likely to excel in the other more specific and minute statistics too.

  10. That's fine, but I don't agree with your view.
    I personally do look at not only goals scored, but points won (e.g. scoring the 5th goal in a 6-0 victory isn't the same as scoring in a 1-0 victory). Not to mention the league quality and if time permits the set up of the team.
    As for goal keepers, in addition to goals conceded/clean sheets, I look at errors (their own and of the defence ahead of them) as well as shots saved per goal.
    I also look the quality of the league they're in, and again the quality of the team they're in.
    While he wouldn't do the same as Courtois, I have little doubt Mignolet would concede less in the Chelsea team than he does in ours.

    Also UEFA take league quality into consideration when they work out who deserves the golden boot, because they understand there are differences between leagues.

  11. The difficulty in determining the supposed "quality" of a defence doesn't make it a non-factor, it just means it is more difficult to talk about. You can disagree with the usefulness of the discussion but the principal itself it still sound.

    Your first point is contradictory in itself because by your own reasoning the quality of a defence would also be determined by the number of goals conceded. If United concede less goals than Liverpool then their defence is, by your own definition, more effective. On what basis do you suggest the United defence is inferior?

    It's also obvious enough that "on paper" combinations or the money spent on a transfer has little bearing on how a player or team actually performs. It's well established that Rodgers spent poorly, therefore it follows that the money he has spent is not a true reflection on the quality of the players.

    The original point obviously stands. A keeper has very limited control over the players in front of him and if those players are ineffective then no amount of skill on his part will prevent goals being scored. A keeper is solely responsible only in the scenario where he makes an obvious mistake e.g. he passes the ball directly to an attacking player with the goal totally open. In most situations it's unquestionably the collective responsibility of the keeper AND the defenders to stop goals and keep a clean sheet. The statistics are a reflection of both.

    Perhaps the poster is over-stating the case that goals conceded is "not a true barometer". I don't entirely agree with that. Goals conceded is a quite good indication of how effective a keeper is, but he's right in that the effectiveness of the defence is also very important. A good keeper can concede a high number of goals if the defenders are numpties.

  12. Anyway, we can't afford to keep Mignolet in goal, as he's a keeper with only a solitary strength. He can't even kick the ball properly, and that's a basic function every keeper should be able to master.

  13. So players who are at these clubs even the washed up ones are out of our reach geez times are tough.
    One question though does he speak English i reckon its a pre requisite.

  14. That is a bit harsh. He made a lovely pass early on in the game which almost led to a goal. He just needs to understand which side he is supposed to be plying for ;-)

  15. Great comment mate, I'm a huge fan of this kind of analysis. To judge a player on raw basic stats seems to be taking into account very little of what makes a keeper 'good' or not. Victor Valdes is one of the best keepers I have ever seen, because he performed consistently for a top club, playing in the champions league just about every year, with essentially 1, or at max 2 defenders in front of him. Puyol was basically the only guy that would stay back and help out his keeper, so the guy was left with as many 1v1's as you could see, but came out on top. He conceded quite a few, but his positional awareness, along with his distribution and ability to intercept through balls was priceless to the way that Barca played. Judge him on his clean sheets ratio or some such base stat and he would be on par with some decent keepers, but judge him contextually and he is among the finest to have donned gloves for any top club and is regarded by the majority of Barcelona fans to be one of, if not the, best keepers they have ever had, even including the likes of Zubizaretta and Ramallets, two absolute legends of the game. I mean you might as well say that Mile Jedinak is a better midfielder than Eden Hazard. Mile has 5 goals, 1 assist in 13 games. Hazard has 4 goals, 1 assist in 13. Mile has had half the shots. These core stats would suggest, by common thinking, that Mile is a better player than Hazard, but we all know that despite Jedo being a decent player who is shining in his twilight, Eden Hazard is considered World Class and a far more technically skilled player. Anyway, TL;DR, Peace, YNWA

  16. Check your decimals Jaimie.

  17. Kevin Trapp or Bernd Leno.

    Job done.

  18. Expecting a Brazilian keeper, who hasn't even played for Brazil, to be top class is like going to Land Rover for a reliable car.