Liverpool supporters in the Transfer Tavern are relishing their team’s encounter with Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday, what with the Reds coming off the back of a hard-fought 2-1 success over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the relegation-threatened Eagles at the weekend having won four of their previous five league matches, although they did suffer defeat in their preceding away match at Manchester United. And another defeat was on the cards for the Reds when Luka Milivojevic gave Roy Hodgson’s side the lead at half time, only for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to hit back in the second period to clinch all three points for the Merseyside giants, thus keeping them third in the Premier League following United’s victory over Swansea City later on Saturday.
Regardless, there are many thrilled Reds supporters in the Tavern ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Pep Guardiola’s City at Anfield, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their side can continue their fine form to take a lead into the return leg in Manchester next week.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Liverpudlians to discuss, not least recent reports linking them with a move for Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas this summer.
And while there’s little doubting that the former Real Madrid ace would be a useful addition to the Reds squad, they would be better served going after and indeed landing Atletico Madrid’s £63 million-rated shot-stopper Jan Oblak (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, Casillas made the move to Portuguese giants Porto back in 2016 after bringing to an end a 25-year association with Spanish heavyweights Real, with whom he won five La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns, among many other pieces of silverware.
And throughout his time at the Bernabeu, the former Spain international was widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world, but it’s evident that those days are firmly behind him now, hence Porto are seeking to get rid of him in the summer at the expiration of his contract.
And with Liverpool eyeing the next level under manager Klopp, namely winning trophies both domestically and in Europe, they need a goalkeeper enjoying their best years both now and in the years to come.
And Oblak could be that man.
The Slovenia international has played a huge part in Atletico’s remarkable defensive record in the last few seasons having kept 87 clean sheets in just 149 appearances for Diego Simeone’s men, conceding only 90 goals in the process.
Quite simply, those are staggering numbers and exactly the sort of numbers Klopp will be looking for to tighten up his backline ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, and while Casillas would bring a whole host of experience to the Reds squad, it’s not as if Oblak isn’t experienced as well having played 39 times in European competition, including the 2016 Champions League final.
Thus, while Casillas has been an outstanding goalkeeper during his career, those days are behind him now – he’d certainly be a useful addition, but he is not the answer to their long-term goalkeeping conundrum.
Oblak could be though, and as such Klopp must forget about Casillas and instead urge FSG to land the Atletico shot-stopper during the close season.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!