Liverpool supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much relishing their team’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Premier League champions-elect Manchester City on Wednesday, what with the Reds going in off the back of victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their meeting with the struggling Eagles having won four of their previous five league games, although they did lose their previous away match at Manchester United. And the Reds were up against it again on Saturday when Luka Milivojevic gave Roy Hodgson’s side a slender lead at half time, only for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to hit back in the second period to clinch the win for the Merseyside giants, thus keeping them in third following United’s success over Swansea City a few hours later.
As such, there are many delighted Liverpudlians in the Tavern ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Pep Guardiola’s City at Anfield, several of whom are hoping their team can take a lead into the return leg at the Etihad Stadium next week.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Reds supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking their club with a move for Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas this summer.
And while the 36-year-old would certainly be a useful addition at Anfield, it’s clear that landing the experienced shot-stopper during the close season would be a backward step by Klopp’s side.
Ultimately, Casillas’ best days as a goalkeeper are firmly behind him having spent a quarter of a century at Real Madrid prior to moving to Porto back in 2016, with the Spaniard winning five La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns during his time at the Bernabeu.
But given that Portuguese heavyweights Porto are seeking to let the 2010 World Cup winner go this summer at the expiration of his contract underlines that he is not at the level that served him so well at Real, and at the age of 36, he’s unlikely to reach those heights again.
Significantly though, landing the 36-year-old would somewhat go against the stall set out by Klopp since his arrival at Liverpool back in October 2015, which appears to be building for the future and thus a team that will compete for many years to come.
The German has made nine signings since he replaced Brendan Rodgers two-and-a-half years ago, and only one of them (Ragnar Klavan) was older than the age of 26 when they were brought in by the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
Thus, it’s clear that, while he will obviously be under pressure to deliver in the short-term, the long-term very much remains in focus for Klopp while in charge at Liverpool, and given they were tenth when he took over and are now on the verge of a Champions League quarter-final, it’s evident that he is getting things right at Anfield.
As such, it would be an enormous surprise to see the Reds make a move for Casillas come the summer, as it would go against everything that the club have set out to do since Klopp took over. Yes, he’d be a terrific mentor for Loris Karius, but the Merseysiders ideally need a goalkeeper in their prime to move to the next level, and Casillas simply isn’t at those heights anymore.
Consequently, making a move for the three-times Champions League winner could well be a backward step by Klopp and the Liverpool hierarchy this summer.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!