Since Pepe Reina was signed for Liverpool in 2005, he has been an ever-present figure. His physical presence dominates the goalmouth. His shot stopping and distribution skills have always been admired in the premier league.
Reina has been extremely unlucky in that he has struggle for international caps, because he just so happens to be behind the no. 1 keepers for Barcelona and Real Madrid, Victor Valdes and Iker Casillas, arguably two of the best keepers in the world, let alone just in Spain.
Reina, however, like several other Liverpool regulars have fallen out of favour with new boss, Brendan Rogers. Though in recent weeks he has been injured, he is now fully fit but was still left warming the bench against Newcastle, with Rogers opting for back-up keeper, Brad Jones.
With Reina renown for his excellent distribution, whether that is with a long throw, or passing along the ground, one would have thought he would perfectly suit Rogers’ style of play. As a man comfortable using his feet, Reina could probably play out field a little more comfortably than the likes of Agger and Skrtle who have looked very uncertain at times this season.
However, as well regarded as Reina is in the Premier League, Brendan Rogers is lining up a potentially controversial maneuver.
He has a tough time recently at Anfield though, letting in some easy goals and his recent injury seems to have dropped Reina down the pecking order in between the sticks.
Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi is reported to be a target for Liverpool, and his a £7 million asking price would suggest as a replacement for Reina rather than a back-up. Al-Habsi is without doubt, a top shot stopper, he has saved Wigan’s blushes on more than one occasion, and his asking price, in my opinion is more than justified.
Rogers is also in search of a young, goal keeping protégé. England under-21 Luke Steele is one name being mentioned as a future talent that Liverpool may look to invest in, and will add further doubt to Reina’s remaining Liverpool career.
Roger’s revolution may not quite be going according to plan currently, but I cannot see how ousting out one of Mersyside’s most faithful performers will solve the issue that Liverpool are struggling with. They need to score goals. £7 million pounds could be put towards another striker, or paying off Andy Carroll’s bar tab. Either way, as good as Al-Habsi is, he is the guaranteed number 1 at Wigan and, at 30 years of age, may not consider moving to Liverpool a move he wants to make at this stage in his career.